Excellence in Innovation Award Winners: Sydney 2008

CO2CRC 2008 winnersCRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies – Winner – Award for Excellence in Innovation 2008 for the application and use of research, (from left) Ms Bernie Hobbs (MC); The Hon Tony Staley AO (CRCA Chair); Mr Michael Hartmann (CRCA CEO); Dr Geoffrey Ingram (Regional Manager Australasia, Schlumberger Carbon Services); Dr Tess Dance (CSIRO Researcher); Dr Peter Cook CBE (CO2CRC CEO); Senator Kim Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research); Dr Geoff Garrett (CSIRO CEO and Board member).

The Otway Project of the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) is an Australian first and a world-leading greenhouse gas technology project, which will geologically store 100,000 tonnes of CO2 at a depth of 2km in western Victoria.  CO2CRC has taken the concept of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Australia from a fringe idea to one that is now a vital component of government and industry greenhouse policy nationally and internationally.

CCS involves capturing carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere, compressing it, transporting it to a suitable site, and injecting it into deep geological formations where it will be trapped for thousands or millions of years.

CRC for Molecular Plant Breeding 2008 winnersCRC for Molecular Plant Breeding – Winner – Award for Excellence in Innovation 2008 for the application and use of research, (from left) Ms Bernie Hobbs (MC); The Hon Tony Staley AO (CRCA Chair); Mr Michael Hartmann (CRCA CEO); Dr Russell Eastward (Australian Grain Technologies); Dr Karen Cane (Vic Department of Primary Industries); Senator Kim Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research).

Plant breeding is a time-consuming process, taking as long as fifteen years from initial cross to final release to farmers.  The cross prediction technology developed by Dr Howard Eagles and collaborators allows breeders to optimise crossing decisions, and thereby reduce the total number of crosses.

The technology is used routinely by many of the largest Australian breeding programs, and has delivered significant cost savings to breeders.

CRC for Oral Health Science 2008 winnersCRC for Oral Health Science – Winner – Award for Excellence in Innovation 2008 for the application and use of research, (from left) Ms Bernie Hobbs (MC); The Hon Tony Staley AO (CRCA Chair); Mr Michael Hartmann (CRCA CEO); Prof Eric Reynolds (CRC for Oral Health Science CEO); Mr Stephen Haynes (Manager Australasia, GC Corporation), Senator Kim Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research); Dr Geoff Garrett (CSIRO CEO and Board member).

Innovation by Australian CRC repairs damaged teeth around the world.

Tooth Mousse Plus is a topical treatment that prevents dental decay and reverses the damage decay causes to teeth.  Developed and commercialised by scientists in the CRC for Oral Health Science, Tooth Mouse Plus is now recommended to patients by dentists in 35 countries.

The paste, which is applied to teeth and gums, is the world’s first commercially available product to improve the effectiveness of topically-applied fluoride by combining it with peptide-calcium phosphate nanocomplex.  Studies have shown that the new combination penetrates 10 times deeper into teeth than traditional fluoride preparations, resulting in greater tooth protection and repair.

CRC for Sustainable Resource Processing 2008 winnersCRC for Sustainable Resource Processing – Winner – Award for Excellence in Innovation 2008 for education and training, and public outreach activities, (from left) Ms Bernie Hobbs (MC); The Hon Tony Staley AO (CRCA Chair);Dr Nicholas Welham (University of Ballarat); Mr Michael Hartmann (CRCA CEO); Dr Dan Churach (Education Manager CRC for Sustainable Resource Processing); Mr Ken Seymour (Murdoch University); Mr Stevan Green (CEO, CRC for Sustainable Resource Processing); Senator Kim Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research); Dr Geoff Garrett (CSIRO CEO and Board member).

The CRC for Cooperative Resource Processing (CSRP) has implemented an innovative Teacher Professional Development Program as an effective tool in addressing the decline in the number of young people studying the physical sciences.

When speaking of “sustainability issues” facing Australia today, it would be both short sighted and counterproductive to ignore the importance that an ample supply of human capital has on the long term viability of our economy.  The increasing shortage of young people choosing careers in the minerals industry goes beyond Australian shores and is rapidly becoming a global problem.

Outcomes of the CSRP Program are that 500 teachers are already involved in the program and that ~60,000 school students are taught and influenced by these teachers.  The program will continue in Western Australia and Queensland and will expand into Victoria in 2008.