REQUEST FOR PARTNERSHIP PROCESS
THE AUSTRALIAN FUNCTIONAL FUNGI INITIATIVE – INVESTMENT AND MISSION
Bioplatforms Australia is investing $1 million to support the creation of open access biomolecular (genomic, metabolomic, proteomic) data to enhance the identification, knowledge and utilisation of Australian native fungi in both research and innovative industry applications.
This initiative is anticipated to provide the building blocks and collaborative opportunities for innovation across a range of sectors and industries including health, environment, conservation and agri-food. The generation of open access omics data will enable insight into unique functions of native fungi and support the development of emerging industries and innovative research translation, for example, medicinal applications, diagnostic development of human fungal pathogens, bioactive compound investigations, native foods and toxicity investigations, biomaterial engineering, ecosystem management and conservation, land restoration, waste management and circular economies.
A FOCUS ON APPLIED OUTCOMES
This non-competitive, collaborative opportunity will create biomolecular data across three applied themes, where the utility of the data will support direct and downstream applications across:
– Health and medicine
– Biological interactions
– Industry innovation
This Request for Partnership will also consider proposals of taxonomic interest in collaboration with vouchered national or state fungal collections.
The below topics represent some examples where biomolecular data can bring substantial value to research. Partnership projects are not expected to address all of these topics, or only these topics.
- Toxicity: edible or health risk investigations
- Food processing and production: fermentation and flavour
- Industrial products: enzymes and organic acids, substrate metabolism
- Agriculture: beneficial endophytic or mycorrhizal investigation
- Pharmaceutical products: medicinal bioactive properties
- Pest control: insect interactions including entomopathogenic fungi
- Taxonomy: species identification, biodiversity investigation
- Health: identification and marker development for human pathogenic fungi
- Environment: decomposition (carbon or nutrient cyclers)
REQUEST FOR PARTNERSHIP
Projects are encouraged to target an applied theme and will be assessed based on the following criteria:
- Project team: contains the expertise to complete the project and collaborates with industry or collection partners
- Rationale: designed to enhance knowledge or understand function of Australian fungi by the generation of novel broad utility (reusable) data
- Timely sample availability: access to existing samples, or the ability to collect samples in a timely manner, that are suitable for extracting the necessary material
- Co-contribution: the team must be capable of marshalling the resources necessary to complement Bioplatforms Australia project investment (biomolecular data generation and access to high end compute resources – NCI and Pawsey), in order to bring the project to completion. Sample collection and data analysis are to be supported by co-investment (in time) from the researcher. The ability to conduct value-add analyses is highly desirable.
- Scale of the request: The scale of support will ensure a return on Bioplatforms national investment according to the initiative objectives.
It should be noted that this is not a competitive grant opportunity and the Australian Functional Fungi Initiative will endeavour to support projects that aim to enhance Australia’s knowledge and application of fungi. Project assessment will be guided by Bioplatforms Australia facilities and the Australian Functional Fungi Advisory Committee.