Swinburne University of Technology will lead a research theme within a new $12.6 million maritime initiative.
The Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Biofilm Research and Innovation, to be based at Flinders University, has been funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC).
The centre aims to transform how shipping vessels and other marine infrastructure tackle the issue of biofilms. Beyond research, it will mentor and train the next generation in this important microbiological expertise.
The microorganisms costing us billions
Biofilms cost industry billions of dollars a year. These communities of microorganisms form of surfaces like the underside of ships and structures in the water. They cause damage to fisheries infrastructure and maritime platforms and compromise the stability of stability of oil and gas platforms, the efficiency of water treatment processes and the functioning of navigational buoys.
Swinburne takes the lead
Swinburne will lead one of two research themes within the centre, “Understanding fouling issues inside maritime platforms and manufactured water systems”, led by bioengineering expert Associate Professor Scott Wade.
Swinburne researchers will be involved in six of the 15 proposed research projects and will receive over $1 million in funding.
Associate Professor Scott Wade says, “This centre will establish a dynamic environment for industry partners, students and scientists to collaborate and develop biofilm management strategies.