JCU Connect: connecting business with world-class research

The impact of James Cook University’s world-class research is to be boosted, with JCU unveiling a new way for business and industry to work with the University’s experts.

JCU Connect has been launched at a media event at the University’s Douglas campus in Townsville.

JCU Connect is the ‘front door’ for potential partners seeking assistance with research, projects, and bringing ideas to life. It will also provide a gateway to JCU’s unique facilities, research stations, and innovation centres.

JCU Provost Professor Chris Cocklin said JCU Connect will link business and industry with JCU’s world-leading research, and make it easier for them to partner with the University.

“JCU has a strong track record in the delivery of high-quality research that benefits our industry and community partners in northern Queensland and beyond.

“JCU Connect will be the front door through which industry – government, business and the community – can engage with the breadth and depth of JCU’s research and commercial expertise and resources.

“We want to deepen our engagement with northern Queensland and make it easier to do business with JCU. This is part of our long-term strategy to build ‘innovation with impact’ in northern Queensland through partnerships with industry.

Director of JCU Connect Rochelle Finlay said the University plans to double the number of its collaborative industry partnerships over the next three years, which will deliver significant economic, scientific and environmental benefits for northern Queensland.

“JCU has rich expertise in a wide range of disciplines: from bio-tech, to the Internet of Things, to aquaculture, and we offer an extensive network of testing and research facilities. We want to partner with business and governments to share this expertise.

“JCU Connect can assist industry to develop strategic partnerships and connect business with diverse expertise and resources from across JCU and our global networks. This includes research and development partnerships, professional and consulting services, and access to our research students, who can spend time working with industry to help solve their problems,” Ms Finlay said.

JCU has a proud history of successful partnerships with local, national and international businesses and industries.

In January, JCU announced a partnership with global food and confectionary giant Mars Incorporated to work together on a range of research projects including coral reef restoration, cocoa pollination and farm diversification.

JCU PhD student Samantha Forbes, whose cocoa research is funded by Mars Inc., and who will lead Mars Sustainable Solutions’ ‘Farm Income Diversification’ program from July, said the partnership with JCU aims to increase the sustainability and resilience of the tropics’ communities and ecosystems.

“By partnering with JCU research teams, we have an exciting opportunity to conduct world-class research, with positive and meaningful impacts on the people and environments of the tropics, particularly the Great Barrier Reef and agricultural systems.”

“We are committed to investing in the future and promoting a better place for future generations. The collaboration with JCU provides a platform for students to be directly involved in research with globally important applications, as well as other broader benefits that may come from the partnership as a whole,” Samantha Forbes said.

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