Photonics COVID-19 project awarded funding by Australia-India Strategic Research Fund

Dr Abel Santos

Dr Abel Santos

Congratulations to Dr Abel Santos and his project team, whose project "Photonic Viropsy: Harnessing light on chip for precise SARS–CoV–2 diagnosis" has been awarded funding by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

Dr Santos, Senior Lecturer and part of the Scientific Leadership Committee at the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, along with his colleagues at the University of New South Wales, Monash University, and Griffith University, received funding for the project which uses cutting-edge sensing technology specifically for integrated, precise diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. This Australian team will be collaborating with researchers at Amity Institute of Nanotechnology, Amity University, and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in India.

The following media release was issued by the Office of the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Member for McPherson, Varsity Lakes, QLD.



Australian and Indian researchers will work together to advance COVID-19 screening and study the future health effects of the virus, after a nearly $4 million investment by the Morrison Government.

The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) has funded six new projects, including one to develop COVID-19 diagnostic technologies and another study of the longer-term effects on the hearts and lungs of patients who have recovered.

Other projects will develop risk management systems to protect farmers from disasters associated with climate change and demonstrate how food-drying technology using renewable energy can reduce pollution in the food-processing sector.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said she was pleased that work in these important areas would be able to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic had caused significant delays this year.

“This latest funding will enable Australian and Indian researchers to contribute to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including in crucial screening and diagnostic testing,” Minister Andrews said.

“As a result of our shared commitment to finding answers through science and technology, India and Australia have tackled a number of shared challenges since the AISRF was established in 2006, with important progress made in areas including agriculture, energy and health.

“The Australian Government remains committed to our strong, strategic relationship with India, which provides numerous economic benefits for both countries.”

The Australian recipients are the University of South Australia, the University of Southern Queensland, the University of Technology Sydney, the Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Brisbane, the University of Adelaide, and the University of Western Australia.

In June 2020, the Australian Government announced it would commit a further $15 million to extend the AISRF for another four years to 2024, bringing Australia’s total funding for AISRF grants to nearly $100 million over 18 years. This funding will begin to roll out from the next grant round in 2021.

The AISRF is Australia’s largest fund dedicated to bilateral science collaboration. It helps build links between Australia and India’s top universities, research institutions and the end users of scientific innovation.

For more information on successful projects, visit

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