Deakin has a variety of professional partnerships
Deakin's partnership with Biocon Ltd - one of India's largest biotechnology company - was formalised in June 2007 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Under the terms of the MOU, the two organisations have agreed to collaborate and assist each other on a number of projects. A key priority is the establishment of a Deakin India Research Institute (DIRI) in Bangalore which will also involve collaborative research with Biocon.
The relationship between Biocon and Deakin is not only about science and communication, but also about mutual support to develop both organisations in Australia and India with staff and student exchanges.
The proposed Institute will focus on transformational science and technologies at the intersection of bio, nano and info approaches to drug development, biotechnology, new materials production and intelligent systems.
The Institute will be closely linked to Deakin's Institute of Technology Research and Innovation in Geelong - an over-arching Research Institute that encompasses Deakin's Centre for Fibre and Material Innovative, Intelligent Systems Group, and Institute of Biotechnology.
The MOU will also see Deakin, via its Metabolic Research Unit, undertaking research into metabolic diseases on behalf of Biocon.
A critical component of the success of the partnership between Deakin and Biocon is the support of both governments in India and Australia.
Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing Research
The successful community reintegration of released prisoners is one of the projects currently undertaken by Deakin's Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing Research (CMHWBR).
Located within the School of Psychology (Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences), the CMHWBR combines mental health research of the general population with mental health research of socially marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
One of its most innovative and successful projects is the instigation and organisation of the annual Reintegration Puzzle Conference. Initiated in 2004 by Professor Joe Graffam (Head of School of Psychology and Deputy Dean of the Faculty), this conference connects the nation's policymakers and professionals who are involved in the reintegration of released prisoners.
Through this work, Deakin University now partners with a range of government and prison advocacy stakeholders. This has resulted in the development of important state and national networks and is providing effective interaction between government, providers and consumers.
With its lifespan approach to mental health and wellbeing, the CMHWBR's four research concentrations are:
- general population
- substance use and abuse and criminality
- disability and disadvantage
- ageing and dementia.
While funding comes from international and Australian research funding bodies, governments and industry, much of the Centre's research is facilitated through the support and collaboration of strong partnerships.
Because the majority of the Centre's research is applied, it encompasses a large network of active partnerships with community organisations including government departments, peak bodies, regional mental health services and regional community health services. These partners include:
- The Australian Childhood Foundation
- Australian Unity
- Department of Human Services (Barwon-South Western Region)
- Eastern Health
- Jesuit Social Services
- Kidsafe - the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia
- The Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria
- MS Society Victoria
- Odyssey House Victoria
- ORYGEN Youth
- Southern Health
- Uniting Aged Care
- The Youth Substance Abuse Service
- Victoria Police
- WISE Employment Ltd.
The Centre's projects currently include:
- Prisoner reintegration
- Employment issues for people with disabilities or mental illness
- Pathways of care for the socially marginalised
- Body image, disability, ageing, depression, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders
- Wellbeing and quality of life
- Forensic interviewing of vulnerable groups (i.e. children and persons with an intellectual disability)
- Adolescent health and substance abuse
- International health and health services in low middle income countries.
Chinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture Sciences
This partnership is between the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) and Deakin's Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation (CMFI).
The CMFI is a multidisciplinary research group that addresses the needs of the materials manufacturing industries. Recently, its research has broadened to include advanced materials for automotive and aerospace applications, functional fibres and technical textiles, and biomaterials.
CATAS is engaged in research for sustainable rural and agricultural development in tropical and subtropical China. It has 10 research institutes, a number of national, ministerial and provincial laboratories, and inspecting, analytical and test centres.
In August 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established between CFMI and CATAS which established the following common interests and goals:
- shared interests and expertise in education and research
- shared interests in exploring the possibility of establishing a collaborative relationship, including the carrying out of activities relevant to their respective interests and expertise
- the establishment of a working relationship between the organisations which will lead to one of more collaborative activities in the future.
The partnership is about sharing expertise between the Academy and Deakin, and the associated relationships are defined by collaboration. They are based on common interests, complementary skills, shared resources, and research training (e.g. research fellows exchanged between countries). There is also a cross-cultural dimension to the partnership with key partners spending time in each culture.
A joint research centre of advanced materials has been established and a number of research projects have been developed. The benefits of this partnership are:
- development of Deakin's research strengths in the area of fibre/polymer science
- wide scope for future expansion
- increased international profile for Deakin
- potential to contribute to China's economic growth
- significant goodwill toward the research which enables regional growth and prosperity
- increased Chinese community profile in Melbourne/Australia
- facilitating Deakin and/or the Chinese region to become a 'top research precinct' resulting in flow-on benefits.
Deakin University DHS (Barwon South Western Region)
This formal partnership between the University's Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences (HMNBS) and the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) - Barwon South Western Region based in Geelong - brings together knowledge, experience and resources that benefit both organisations and the region's residents.
It represents a unique and innovative partnership committed to protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of regional and rural Victorians. The objectives of the partnership include brokering and encouraging collaborative research, education and evidence-based policy to enhance the health of people living in this region of Victoria.
Its four major strategies for 2008-2010 are:
- Public health forums: to enhance the public's awareness of knowledge of public health matters by promoting professional development and knowledge.
- Teaching and workforce development: to improve the capacity of the human services sector workforce to respond to changing needs through collaboration on professional training and placement activities.
- Research and evidence-based practice: to improve health and wellbeing outcomes - particularly for disadvantaged people and places - through research activity that aligns to DHS priorities and contributes to the evidence-base of human services practice.
- Health and wellbeing/health and community services: to establish the partnership as a key player in regional health and wellbeing initiatives through engagement with key bodies responsible for planning and policy development.
For more information please visit www.deakin.edu.au/dhs.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
In April 2008, Deakin University and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Eastern Metropolitan Region) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at enhancing education. The MOU facilitates cooperative meetings to develop and advance a strategic partnership within education and educational research.
The aims of the partnership are:
- development and implementation of improved educational and training pathways for both students and trainee teachers
- collaboration on student recruitment - locally and internationally
- research and development
- access to facilities and resources
- cooperative library services
- staff development
- enhanced educational opportunities for students
- rewards and recognitions of student and staff accomplishments.
Geelong Football Club
In 2008, the Geelong Football Club (GFC) and Deakin University set up a working relationship which is expected to become a strong and sustainable partnership over time.
The current working relationship involves the University's Marketing Division, the Faculty of Business and Law (School of Management and Marketing) and the Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences (School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences).
Combining the skills, resources and research of both organisations will enhance the reputation of the GFC as a major business competitor and also provide Deakin with a valuable educational platform.
Several methods of research activity and service support will be managed, including sports science research, student practicum placements and community engagement events.
The outcomes of these activities are expected to include:
- collection, analysis, interpretation and discussion of data related to player training, competition and performance
- student resources for GFC activities (data collection, player assessments, physical preparation)
- research related to player and team performance
- student learning objectives achieved through practicum placements, research and industry links
- service and consultancy opportunities
- the development of a more informed and confident cohort of regional students from the combined Deakin, Gordon Institute of TAFE, and GFC events which are based around the theme of 'education and values'.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited
Deakin's partnership with Indian Oil Corporation Limited - one of the leading energy companies in India and is ranked 105 in the Fortune 500 Global company rankings - was formalised in 17 January 2010 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Under the terms of the MOU, the two organisations have agreed to collaborate and assist each other on a number of projects as an extension of the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI). The new partnership will bring researchers working with Indian Oil to Deakin under Indian Oil Golden Jubilee Research Fellowships.
The DIRI is seen as a very genuine and reciprocal partnership between Deakin University and Indian industry.
Maroondah Education Coalition
Deakin University's partnership with four secondary schools in Melbourne's eastern suburbs - Ringwood, Parkwood, Norwood and Maroondah Secondary Colleges - forms the Maroondah Education Coalition (MEC). This partnership is aimed at delivering mutual benefits over a wide range of areas and includes:
- a better teacher placement system for schools
- improved educational opportunities for school students (students participate in a Master Class program - e.g. environmental education classes - at Deakin)
- an increased profile for Deakin University
- high-quality relationships with school personnel.
Although still in development, the partnership has offered the MEC several 'products' that are now transferable to other schools. These include:
- business efficiencies
- models of best practice
- intellectual development (ideas for collaborative research between Deakin academics and school personnel)
- improved professional practice
- improved quality and consistency.
NiCHE is Deakin's Nature and Health Research Group from the School of Health and Social Development (Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences).
In collaboration with Parks Victoria, the Lort Smith Animal Hospital and other strategic partners, this Deakin-based team works on a broad range of research and intervention projects aimed at improving individual and community health through nature-based interventions.
Some of NiCHE's projects include:
- a literature review on the social and health benefits of contact with nature
- studies of the health and wellbeing benefits of membership of 'friends of parks' groups
- the impact of access to nature on health for inner city high-rise residents
- hands-on contact with nature for children's mental health and wellbeing
- visiting companion animal programs in an aged care facility and in an acute care hospital
- nature-based adventure therapy interventions.
NiCHE's primary partner, Parks Victoria, has stated that the partnership with Deakin is 'strong, progressive and on-going' and it facilitates collaboration with other organisations.
NiCHE's other recent research partners have included:
- Jesuit Social Services
- Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre
- Western Hospital
- Trust for Nature
- Barwon Health
- Forestry UK.
TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute of India)
Deakin's partnership with TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute of India) was formalised on 8 April, 2010 to establish the new BioNanotechnology Research Centre in New Delhi.
TERI is a research institute that addresses the immense and acute problems that mankind is likely to face on account of the gradual depletion of the earth's finite energy resources which are largely non-renewable and on account of the existing methods of their use which are polluting.
Researchers in Deakin University's Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) bring to the Centre excellence and expertise in the design and characterisation of novel nanomaterials while TERI researchers in the Biotechnology and Management of Bioresources Division (BMBD) bring a wealth of experience in biotech applications in pharmacology, food, agriculture and environmental areas.
It is envisaged that, within five years, the Centre will have approximately 70 researchers, including 50 PhD students enrolled at Deakin and co-supervised by Deakin and TERI staff.The Centre will be located at one of TERI's facilities close to the Indira Gandhi International Airport allowing easy access for international visitors.
The Centre will be a hub for the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI) launched last year. This involves up to a further 50 PhD students located in Indian industries or with other research partners again co-supervised by leading researchers in India and Australia.
- Nanotechnology involves the application and engineering of structures and materials of less than one ten thousandth of a mm (100 nm) to enhance performance and create new functionality across a wide range of sectors.
- Biological systems include natural nanostructures at the sub-cellular level that, with innovative nanotech techniques, can be modified and used in new applications such as targeted drug delivery, water filtration, biosensors or bio-inspired coatings.
- The new TERI-Deakin BioNanotechnology Research Centre will explore these and other applications in partnership with industries in both countries.