5 August 2014

Securing food future through plant energy biology

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Aidan Byrne, has congratulated the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology on its official launch at The University of Western Australia overnight.

The Centre successfully applied for funding in the most recent ARC Centres of Excellence scheme round and will utilise $26 million to improve sustainable plant yield by optimizing the overall efficiency of energy capture, conversion and its use by plants.

The Centre first received funding in 2005 from the ARC and the most recent funding allocation will see it continue vital research commenced under the original Centre.

Professor Byrne said the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology will undertake fundamental research over the next seven years with food security, nationally and internationally, a top priority.

"Researchers will develop new approaches needed in agriculture due to narrowing resources—such as land, water, fertiliser, fuel and nutrients—and a rising world population.

"The Centre is led by distinguished researcher, Winthrop Professor Harvey Millar, who was recently the first Australian to receive the prestigious Charles Albert Shull Award, presented by the American Society of  Plant Biologists."

ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious foci of expertise through which high-quality researchers maintain and develop Australia's international standing in research areas of national priority.

Centres of Excellence are typically funded over a period of up to seven years, allowing flexibility to undertake comprehensive research programs that tackle Australia's big challenges, as well as short-term projects that answer emerging issues or questions.

To obtain more information about the ARC's Centres of Excellence scheme, please visit the ARC website.

For more information about the work of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, visit the Plant Energy Biology website.

Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au