Future opportunities

German research priorities can be matched with Queensland research proficiencies and capabilities, particularly in environment science, health, and defence.

Future topics of interest for collaborative action include: mobility; sustainability, climate protection, energy and healthcare. Below are just a few examples of how Queensland research institutions are working to address current and emerging research priorities.

Energy

  • Sustainably sourced energy for emissions-free transportation: re‐use of agricultural residues for energy production by anaerobic digestion (University of Southern Queensland) and producing biofuels and testing engine performance (Queensland University of Technology).
  • Sustainably sourced energy for mass transport—Hydrogen fuel for cars buses and even trucks is a step closer thanks to work by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Their researchers, based in Brisbane, created a metal membrane that filters out pure hydrogen gas from ammonia. This now provides the ability to store and transport the gas safely and efficiently, which means hydrogen is becoming a viable option for dispensing at fuelling stations.
  • Greenhouse gas neutrality of industry: Contributing to a circular economy options for industry, the first large pilot-scale microbial fuel cell stack treating wastewater in Yatala—a suburb about half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast—was fuelled using brewery waste[1]. This initiative paved the way for turning wastewater into electrical energy, and at the same time removing contaminants in the water. (The Advanced Water Management Centre, a world class research group specialising in innovative wastewater treatment, UQ.)

Biofuture

  • Developing biomass-based energy and products—working with industry, QUT researchers have established a unique research and development facility converting sugar cane waste into biofuels, green chemicals and other bioproducts. Used by industry and research partners to develop and demonstrate a wide range of technologies at the pilot scale, this facility is contributing to the Queensland Government’s goal to transform the state into a leading bio-based economy.

Environment

  • The power of seaweed—The University of Sunshine Coast is working on domesticating a new species of algae and seaweed for nitrogen sequestration (to improve waste water quality) as well as opportunities with energy, reduction of methane emission from ruminants, functional foods, and nutraceuticals.
  • Sustainable environments—The Institute for Future Environments (IFE - QUT) is a transdisciplinary research institute that studies how to make our natural, built and virtual environments more sustainable, secure and resilient.
  • Protection of boreal and temperate primary forests–The Griffith Climate Change Response Program is working with the Frankfurt Zoological Society to help protect the world's remaining boreal and temperate primary forests.

Healthy life

  • Bioengineering for health cures—Using bioengineered heart muscle enabled researchers to rapidly and accurately screen the effectiveness of potential heart regeneration drugs. This innovative technique could revolutionise how heart drugs are developed in the future. (QIMR Berghofer in collaboration with the Murdoch Children’s hospital and the University of Melbourne, and global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca)
  • Natural assets—Our marine and terrestrial biodiversity offer exceptional opportunities to discover new and useful compounds. Researchers from the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at The University of Queensland have found that funnel-web spider venom could protect stroke victims from further brain damage.
  • Health and care—enabling an active and self-determined life—Social robots that can autonomously communicate could play a greater role in treating mental health conditions by encouraging patients to discuss sensitive topics. Initial results from studies indicate a beneficial change as a result of interactions between robots and humans (Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, QUT).

Food

  • Improving productivity with farm automation—The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has partnered with John Deere to successfully develop the next generation of precision agricultural technology, such as driverless tractors and drone technologies useful across all aspects of the growing cycle.
  • Securing global nutrition—The QUT Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities works on increasing Vitamin A in bananas, and iron in chickpeas.
  • Producing safe and healthy food—Research in nutraceuticals, with a focus on Asia-Pacific food sources, for example use of Kakadu plums for extending food shelf life; and Queen Garnett Plum for reducing cholesterol and diabetes (USQ); and aquaculture using a world-first bioremediation technology created in conjunction with industry (JCU).
  • Ensuring sustainable agricultural production—Looking towards green agriculture: our farmers are interested in alternative fertilisers and biostimulants to reduce costs and environmental foot print of farming. Research is currently evaluating the effects of organic nutrients and bio-fertilisers on microbial communities, crops and soil (UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences).

Queensland offers a globally unique proposition

Download or share the Queensland + Germany – Collaborating on Science fact sheet (PDF, 858.3KB) .

Academic Excellence - German Immersion and Extension

The German Immersion and Extension Program (GIEP) is a program of academic excellence at Kenmore State High School and Ferny Grove State High School which offers students an exciting opportunity to develop a very high level of German language proficiency. Brisbane German Language School offers German language courses at St Peters Lutheran College in Indooroopilly.