Four industry-research projects on drug development, business innovation, chemical transportation and biotechnology have been recognised at a University of Queensland awards ceremony.

The Partners in Research Excellence Awards, held last night, are part of UQ’s annual Research Week celebrations and recognise outstanding industry-UQ collaborations that have benefitted industry and the community.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ and its innovative industry partners were chipping away at Australia’s woeful rates of industry-university collaboration, which are lowest in the OECD.

“It is important to demonstrate to Australian universities and industry that high-quality partnerships boost wellbeing and prosperity, because these partnerships drive the outcomes of excellent research towards the community.

“The winning projects demonstrate some of the multitude of benefits of partnerships, and make a compelling case that excellent research breeds high-impact outcomes, and that innovation is best achieved through teamwork.”

The Partners in Research Excellence Awards were co-hosted by UQ’s commercialisation company UniQuest, which has helped make UQ innovations such as the first cervical cancer vaccine available to people worldwide.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the four award recipients were an excellent example of UQ’s research turning excellence into ‘excellence plus’ for industry.

“The relationships between these researchers and their industry partners have been formed over years of collaboration, cooperation and hard work,” Dr Moss said.

“It’s wonderful to see their efforts in finding innovative solutions for the advancement of industry recognised.”

The awards were presented to:

Engineering, Materials and Information & Communications Technology

Professor Victor Rudolph, School of Chemical Engineering; and Mr Christopher Dunks, Synergen Met Pty Ltd. The project focuses on developing and commissioning an on-site/on-demand cyanide facility which eliminates the need to transport dangerous chemicals.

Social Enterprise

Associate Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne, UQ Business School; and Steve Moorhouse, Department of Science, Information Technology & Innovation, Queensland Government. The project focuses on the development of evidence-based guidelines for government, which have shaped policy to improve small business growth and sustainability through innovation.


Dr Esteban Marcellin, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN); and Dr Chris Stowers, The DOW Chemical Company. The project focuses on bioengineering bacteria so that renewable materials can be used as a feedstock substitute for petroleum to improve industrial chemical production.


Professor David Craik and Professor David Fairlie, Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB); and Dr Daniel Grant, Pfizer Australia. The project focuses on producing a new class of drugs by engineering peptide drugs to be taken as a tablet rather than via injection.

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