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The 2017 BHERT Award Winners

The 2017 Award winners send clear messages about BHERT’s focus:

  • The choice of winners reflects national priorities; the export economy (LNG and agriculture); biomedical education; biodiversity; indigenous engagement and employment.
    BHERT is addressing core issues not marginal ones.
  • The spread of winners demonstrates our national mandate: one from WA, two from Queensland, three from NSW, one from ACT, and one from Victoria.
    BHERT has maintained a national footprint over 27 years facilitating an extensive programme of initiatives.
  • True collaboration is long and deep. None of the partnerships celebrated is less than five years old; each has been long-established; has multiple facets, and a large group of contributing partners from all sectors and multiple locations.
    BHERT understands and recognizes the hallmarks of successful business, industry and university collaborations.
  • It isn’t about profile or fund-raising. The chosen partnerships celebrate impact rather than securing of funding; industry or community uptake rather than prizes or publications.
    BHERT places value on the impact of the collaboration.


Outstanding Collaboration in Research and Development 2017 Award

Awarded to:

  • The University of Western Australia
  • Chevron Australia Pty

Project: Chevron - University Partnership Programme

Award for Outstanding Collaboration in R&D

The Chevron-UWA Partnership Programme is a 15-year partnership worth more than $22 million to 2022, which has resulted in new R&D and world-leading products. It supports one of Australia’s major export industries (LNG: Liquefied Natural Gas), in which Western Australia has a strong position, and in which Australia is becoming the largest global player. Chevron have funded major research capability, development in gas process engineering and in LNG futures, supported a large range of projects, and contributed to science education and the arts.



Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education & Training 2017 Award

Awarded to:

  • The University of Queensland
  • Smart Sparrow
  • UNSW Sydney
  • The University of Melbourne
  • James Cook University

Project: The Biomedical Education, Skills and Training (BEST) Network

Global Distribution of Academic Members: BEST is self-sustaining, and will welcome new institutional members in 2018. This will support further expansion of the Network’s off erings and value to educators and students.
Award for Collaboration in Higher Education and Training

The Biomedical Education, Skills and Training (BEST) Network is a technology-supported teaching infrastructure for biomedical learning. Since 2012 it has had significant impact in higher education across Australia: it has a growing community of 12 member institutions, 2,200 academics, and 8,700 student members. The BEST Network operates on the basis of institutional subscriptions, largely from universities.



Outstanding Collaboration in Community Engagement 2017 Award

Awarded to:

  • The University of Queensland
  • AgriFutures Australia
  • Australian Native Food and Botanicals
  • Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Australian Prawn Farmers Association
  • Karen Sheldon Catering Pty Ltd
  • The Australian Industry Group
  • Kindred Spirits Association
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation
  • Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation

Project: Plum pickings: transforming the native food industry; empowering Aboriginal Communities

Award for Outstanding Collaboration in Community Engagement
Kakadu plums and their powder have properties that extend the shelf life of food.

The Kakadu Plum project was launched in 2010, and is a major initiative between two Australian universities and the acquaculture industries. It has transformed the native food industry, and empowered Aboriginal Communities in the process. Its success derives from the preservative properties of the Kakadu Plum, which as a functional ingredient is now used by 75% of the Queensland aquaculture industry as a natural preservative, which significantly extends the retail shelf life of prawns.



Outstanding Collaboration for National (non-economic) Benefit 2017 Award

Awarded to:

  • Macquarie University
  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Western Sydney University
  • Royal Botanical Gardens and Domain Trust
  • James Cook University
  • University of New Brunswick (Canada)
  • University of Canberra
  • Imperial College London

Project: The Biodiversity Node of the NSW Adaptation Research Hub


The Biodiversity Node of the NSW Adaptation Research Hub was established in 2013, and leverages the State’s multidisciplinary science capacities to produce research that directly informs the decision making of NSW agencies. The partnership between Macquarie University and the NSW Government aims to maximise the resilience of species and ecosystems to climate variability with improved management and decision-making based on science. Funding received has been used to support 18 research projects and has brought together 64 individual researchers from 16 institutions and agencies across Australia. It has been successful in developing actionable recommendations.



About the BHERT Awards

In 1998 BHERT initiated a series of Awards to reinforce the importance of business-university partnerships in innovation, R&D and teaching. These are prestigious annual awards which recognise outstanding achievement in collaboration between the sectors of business and higher education.

Now in their 20th year, the BHERT Awards are presented at a Gala Event in November in Melbourne. The Awards are sponsored by university and business members of BHERT.

Award Applications are assessed by a panel of independent judges against a number of criteria. The submissions must be highly innovative and reflect a strong relationship between partners. The winning Projects were also those deemed to have measurable outcomes, and high impact for Australia.

In 2017 the BHERT Awards were refined, with criteria sharpened to focus on excellence and impact for the Australian economy and community.

The BHERT Awards



University of Newcastle - Sponsor of BHERT Awards






Driving collaboration across business, industry and tertiary education.

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