Chinese Academy Sciences visit the Waite Campus

On Monday November 15, 2010 the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus was honoured by a visit from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) President, Professor Lu Yongxiang. A key issue of mutual concern between China and Australia is research into solutions for global food security.

Members of the President’s official delegation were;

  • Professor Tan Tieniiu, Deputy Secretary General, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • Professor Lu Yonglong, Director General, Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • Professor Yang Weicai, Deputy Director General, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
  • Mr Deng Fanjin, Personal Assistant to President Lu Yongxiang and
  • Mr Shizhuan Zhang, Acting Deputy  Director, Division of American & Oceanian Affairs, Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

They were also accompanied by Mr Feng Xuan from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia, Ms Nancy Pritchard, Manager – International Programs, Australian Academy of Science and Ms Mary Finlay, General Manager – International Science and EIF Branch Science and Infrastructure Division, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

The tour included a visit to the Plant Genomics Centre, the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (The Plant Accelerator), the Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory (the Winery) and Urrbrae house. At Urrbrae house a MOU on cooperation between the University of Adelaide and the CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology was signed by Professor Yang Weicai and Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Vice President (Research). CAS President Professor Lu then met with Professor James McWha, Vice Chancellor & President, Professor Brooks, and Professor John Taplin, Pro Vice Chancellor (International).

UoA Vice Chancellor, Professor James McWha (left) and CAS President, Professor Lu Yongxiang outside Urrbrae house, Waite campus.

UoA Vice Chancellor, Professor James McWha (left) and CAS President, Professor Lu Yongxiang outside Urrbrae house, Waite campus.

 

This was then followed by a luncheon hosted by Professor McWha in Urrbrae’s dining room including the following additional guests;

  • Professor Roger Leigh, Head of Agriculture, Food and Wine (AFW) School and Director, Waite Research Institute (WRI)
  • Professor Mark Tester, Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility
  • Professor Peter Langridge, CEO of Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG)
  • Professor Geoff Fincher, Deputy CEO of Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and Director-designate of the ARC Centre of Excellence on Plant Cell Walls.
  • Professor Mike Keller, Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Sciences
  • Ms Sandy McConachy, Director, East Asia Strategy
  • Ms Nancy Pritchard, Manager – International Programs, Australian Academy of Science
  • Ms Mary Finlay, General Manager, International Science and EIF Branch Science and Infrastructure Division, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

On Wednesday 17 November, several research delegates from CAS also visited and toured the Waite campus. The group was accompanied by Ms Shannon Newham and Megan from the Australian Academy of Science. The morning began with Professor Roger Leigh giving an introductory talk about the School of AFW and the WRI. This was followed by Professor Bob Gibson’s overview of the specialised research conducted at the FOODplus Research Centre.

After a brief walk up Hartley Grove to the Plant Genomics Centre, the delegates then toured the facility with Professor Peter Langridge, CEO of ACPFG and Research Fellow Bu-Jun Shi.

ACPFG Research Fellow Dr Bu-Jun Shi (seated far left) and Professor Roger Leigh, Head of School AFW and Director WRI (seated second from right) with the research delegates from CAS in Reception of the ACPFG building

ACPFG Research Fellow Dr Bu-Jun Shi (seated far left) and Professor Roger Leigh, Head of School AFW and Director WRI (seated second from right) with the research delegates from CAS in Reception of the ACPFG building

The CAS Delegates also visited The Plant Accelerator building and received a tour from Professor Mark Tester, Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility.

Professor Mark Tester Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (standing centre) with CAS research delegates outside TPA, Wednesday 17 Nov 2010

Professor Mark Tester Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (standing centre) with CAS research delegates outside TPA, Wednesday 17 Nov 2010

This was followed by a tour of the joint CAS laboratory in CSIRO’s Taylor Building by Professors Sally and Andrew Smith.

<Professor Sally Smith with the CAS delegates in the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010

Professor Sally Smith with the CAS delegates in the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010

CAS delegates outside the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010 with Professor Andrew Smith (standing 3rd from left) and Professor Sally Smith (standing 6th from left)

CAS delegates outside the Taylor Building Wednesday 17 November 2010 with Professor Andrew Smith (standing 3rd from left) and Professor Sally Smith (standing 6th from left)

Lastly, but not least, after another brisk walk across campus, the group got an excellent overview of the Barley Breeding Program by Associate Professor Jason Eglinton.

 

Associate Professor Jason Eglinton discussing the successes of the Barley Breeding Program in the ‘Northern Barns’ laboratories.

Associate Professor Jason Eglinton discussing the successes of the Barley Breeding Program in the ‘Northern Barns’ laboratories.

 

The extensive morning tour was then concluded with a much-appreciated lunch break at the Lirra Lirra cafe. Following lunch the CAS delegates walked back up the hill to tour SARDI within the Plant Research Centre and to see the various hot houses and growth chambers.

These two CAS visits to the Waite Campus on Monday 15 and Wednesday 17 November were very important for the University of Adelaide and all the collocated partners at the Waite campus as they helped strengthened agricultural research linkages between China and Australia.

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