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Published: 29 Apr 2021

Our expertise in building strong connections between research and industry has been recognised nationally, with the 2021 Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research being presented to Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture researchers (TIA).

Our expertise in building strong connections between research and industry has been recognised nationally, with the 2021 Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research being presented to Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture researchers (TIA).

TIA’s tree crops and plant extracts team of Professor Dugald Close, Dr Sandy Garland, Dr Nigel Swarts and Dr Sally Bound received the prestigious award for the partnerships they had built between current and recent HDR Candidates and industry partners.

The team received the award ahead of a strong team of finalists from around Australia.

Professor Dugald Close said a philosophy and culture of effective industry collaboration in practice, with a strong focus on developing the employability skills of their graduates, had enabled the team to build significant partnerships between current and recent Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates and industry partners.

“Our HDR candidates present at industry conferences and seminars to build their own networks. We find that this leads to excellent outcomes in terms of impact and employment post-graduation,” he said.

The team’s philosophy in practice had provided benefits to both industry partners and HDR students, leading to ongoing partnerships and trusting relationships between graduate research students and local industry.

“We see our industry partners as key collaborators in our research,” Professor Close said.

“We design, implement and interpret our data in collaboration with industry and ensure that this is led by our PhD candidates whenever possible.

“We are extremely pleased to have our philosophy and practice recognised as leading the nation by the Australian Council for Graduate Research.”

The national award recognises and publicly promotes outstanding performance in higher degree research supervision, leadership, and industry engagement, with a strong focus on impact and outcomes.

The team will receive a grant of $3,000 and will attend a forthcoming ACGR national meeting within the next 12 months.

TIA is a joint venture of the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.