The Australia-Indonesia Centre are its supporters are funding collaborative research in energy, health, infrastructure, urban water, and food and agriculture. Here are some highlights.
Small urban ‘rain gardens’ are popping up all around Australia and Indonesia to keep waterways free from pollutants, stop flooding and erosion, and to grow food.
Although they may look similar to a normal garden, beneath the surface rain gardens are a sandwich of layers of sand, gravel, roots and microbes through which polluted water passes and clean water exits, which can then be used for irrigation or washing.
Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology are working on:
- Gravitational waves—looking further
- Lenses a fraction of a hair’s width, faster communication and better solar cells
- Quantum computers with photons
- Tuning out our internal voices
- Harnessing the data from everything that’s online
Saliva or blood tests may one day be used to detect when we’re too tired to drive or think clearly.
A team of scientists has found specific biological markers (biomarkers) linked to reduced alertness, including eye movement patterns, blood-based metabolites, chemiresistor signal responses and various speech parameters.
If these can be used to develop a test, they hope to see it on the road and in the workplace within the next two-to-five years. Continue reading Towards a portable test for tiredness
Assessing ageing bridges just got safer and easier, thanks to a high-tech radar device that fits inside a suitcase.
Developed by Dr Lihai Zhang of The University of Melbourne as part of a collaborative research project supported by The Australia-Indonesia Centre, the IBIS-S radar technology can scan a bridge in 15 minutes from a kilometre away with an accuracy of 0.01mm, quickly assessing its condition and stability.
Across America lives have been improved by Australian inventions—the cervical cancer vaccine, the bionic eye, gum that repairs tooth decay. What’s next?
Extended wear contact lenses for healthier eyes
Some 30 million Americans use contact lenses. Today they can wear a single pair for up to 30 consecutive days and nights, safely and comfortably thanks to the work of CIBA Vision and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
Contact lenses were once rigid and had to be taken out every night. In 1991, a team of researchers from CSIRO, the University of New South Wales, and the Vision Cooperative Research Centre joined forces with CIBA Vision in the US, and Novartis in Switzerland, to create a better contact lens.
In lands ‘of droughts and flooding rains,’ predicting the weather means saving both lives and livelihoods.
The work of Indonesian and Australian scientists, which began with a visit to Jakarta in 1981 by climate scientist Professor Neville Nicholls, has given the countries the ability to forecast rain in the dry season, and during the lead up to the wet season. This means the fires, haze, and food shortages that often go hand in hand with droughts can be predicted—and planned for.
From 2016 a specially-equipped standard railcar will be rocking and rolling along the tracks of East Java. It will have carefully positioned sensors to detect its movement during normal operation, including its displacement and vibration.
The railcar instrumentation has been designed by Monash University’s Institute of Rail Technology to provide data on the condition of the track. This will allow engineers to accurately estimate safe loads and running speeds.
Port cities can be lively, vibrant hives of activity—the hub of a nation’s economic health—if they’re planned well.
Indonesia’s busiest port, Tanjung Priok, has roughly two and a half times the container traffic as the Port of Melbourne. But it also has a reputation as one of the least efficient ports in Asia. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has recognised the need to transform the nation’s ports and plans to develop 24 new ports by 2019. One recently established, state-of-theart port is Teluk Lamong in Surabaya.
In 2014, residents of Yogyakarta started growing and releasing mosquitoes. It’s counter-intuitive, but the mosquitoes carry Wolbachia bacteria, which reduces the risk of them spreading dengue fever.
Over a number of weeks, mosquitoes with Wolbachia breed with local mosquitoes and pass the bacteria on to their offspring until almost all mosquitoes in the area carry the disease-blocking microbes.