Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Inching closer to Australia

Strong ties in research, science and technology between Australia and Europe can be mutually beneficial to both sides. Policies, academic exchanges and joint collaboration networks are already helping to achieve this formidable objective.
Inching closer to Australia
Australia may be the faraway land down under, but its strong research potential and rich knowledge pool from a different perspective to the European one remains largely untapped. The EU is striving to build promising exchanges between the two regions, unleashing an invaluable flow of research data and best practices in both directions.

Armed with this powerful vision, the EU-funded project 'Forum for European - Australian science and technology co-operation, Phase II' (FEAST) created solid cooperation mechanisms between the two. The project worked on enhancing links among scientists, identifying areas of collaboration, trading best practices and supporting state-of-the-art research, particularly in science and technology (S&T).

These mechanisms included an online portal for S&T collaboration, an Internet database of research projects and researchers, and support for research networks that enhance cooperation. This was also accompanied by a helpdesk service, documenting of collaboration opportunities, establishment of an industry-science network and organisation of a biennial conference to promote S&T development cooperation.

FEAST also disseminated its findings on best practice strategies through relevant media to further the project's aims and influenced policy on developing international research and innovation. It paved the way to map cooperation and evaluate its impact on research quality.

The project noted that Australia has engaged considerably with Europe in this direction and its policies have already encouraged international cooperation. Contributing to this success is the existing Australian university support for engaging with Europe, in addition to seed funding set aside for collaborative initiatives. Overall, there have been strong Australian contributions to EU cooperation, helping build outstanding S&T bridges that will undoubtedly be of synergistic benefit to both sides.

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