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AFOSR, NIH and NASA collaborate with Australia to advance basic research

Dr. Craig Priest, (far left), Senior Research Fellow at the University of South Australia, experiences microgravity in NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” research aircraft.  Priest was on board to test new Australian developed micro-structured electrodes for use in fuel-cell technologies. His collaboration with NASA evolved from his participation in several interagency meetings co-organized by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and intended to develop and foster S&T relationships with Australian principal investigators. As a result of these same meetings, one of Priest’s students will soon be conducting research for a NASA center located at the University of Puerto Rico as part of a new international exchange program. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

Dr. Craig Priest, (far left), Senior Research Fellow at the University of South Australia, experiences microgravity in NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” research aircraft. Priest was on board to test new Australian developed micro-structured electrodes for use in fuel-cell technologies. His collaboration with NASA evolved from his participation in several interagency meetings co-organized by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and intended to develop and foster S&T relationships with Australian principal investigators. As a result of these activities, one of Priest’s researchers will soon be conducting research for a NASA center located at the University of Puerto Rico as part of a new international exchange program. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

As part of a new international partnership, Australian scientists are now participating in research efforts at AFRL sites and affiliated universities around the U.S.The research exchange is supported by joint collaborations between U.S. interagency partnerships and the Australian research community. Left to right - Dr. Larry Nagahara (National Cancer Institute), Dr. Patrick Roach (AFOSR), Prof. Francesca Iacopi (Griffith University), Dr. Sofi Bin-Salamon (AFOSR), Mrs. Rosie Hicks (Australian National Fabrication Facility), and Prof. Craig Priest (University of South Australia).

As part of a new international partnership, Australian scientists are now participating in research efforts at AFRL sites and affiliated universities around the U.S.The research exchange is supported by joint collaborations between U.S. interagency partnerships and the Australian research community. Left to right - Dr. Larry Nagahara (National Cancer Institute), Dr. Patrick Roach (AFOSR), Prof. Francesca Iacopi (Griffith University), Dr. Sofi Bin-Salamon (AFOSR), Mrs. Rosie Hicks (Australian National Fabrication Facility), and Prof. Craig Priest (University of South Australia).

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As part of a new international partnership, Australian scientists are now participating in research efforts of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at AFRL sites and affiliated universities around the U.S.

The exchange effort aims to create and strengthen relationships between scientific communities in the United States and Australia and comes as a direct result of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research's (AFOSR) ongoing collaboration with U.S. interagency and Australian partners.

AFOSR worked closely with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Australian Department of Education, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian National Fabrication Facility to make the exchange a reality.

The collaboration began at the Inaugural United States - Australia Joint Commission Meeting, and continued with follow-on discussions at the AFOSR-hosted Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)/AFOSR Meeting in 2011 and AFOSR/ANFF Program Review in 2012.

According to Mr. Michael Schwager, Minister Counsellor (Education, Science and Technology) at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC, "the most successful international collaborations form at the researcher-to-researcher level and are then spurred through mutual and strategic interest. These research exchanges are great examples of that and will enhance our strong science linkages and particularly longer-term research collaborations with AFOSR, NIH and NASA."

Continuing through 2015, Australian graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, University of South Australia, Australian National University, Griffith University, and Monash University will travel to U.S. laboratories and spend several months performing research in a wide range of technical areas including those of interest to the USAF.

AFRL will host the researchers along with Oregon Health Science University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of California - San Diego, University of California - Berkeley, and University of Puerto Rico.

"This effort is a testament to the patience, perseverance and drive of everyone involved to build and nurture long-lasting relationships between the best and brightest within our communities," said Dr. Sofi Bin-Salamon, an AFOSR program officer in the International Office. "Our domestic and international partnerships are key to opening new vistas in scientific discovery," he added.

AFOSR continues to discover, shape, and champion basic science that profoundly impacts the future Air Force. Proactively engaging with the international community is critical to AFOSR's mission.

As a grant issuing agency, AFOSR has supported many international research efforts performed at foreign universities and institutes.  In addition to funding research projects, AFOSR builds relationships among foreign researchers, the AFRL and U.S. scientists and engineers through a variety of efforts including technical exchanges, conference support, and Windows on Science programs.