Research Collaborations

Research About JCU Research Research Collaborations

JCU is committed to collaboration with business, industry, government and the community to create lasting benefits for our region and a brighter future for the tropics generally.

One of the greatest challenges facing regional universities like JCU is establishing a critical mass to address the significant research issues facing the region. To this end, the University has entered into several partnerships to consolidate strengths, particularly in tropical science and innovation, and build capacity by co-locating key research staff and infrastructure.

Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertakes world-best integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs.

Funded in July 2005 under the Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence program this prestigious research centre is headquartered at JCU’s Townsville campus.

The Centre is a partnership of JCU, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Australian National University (ANU), tge Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), The University of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Western Australia (UWA). Collectively, the Centre creates the world's largest concentration of coral reef scientists.

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Peripheral Arterial Disease

The Centres of Research Excellence scheme funds teams of researchers to pursue innovative, high quality collaborative research activities in priority areas.

JCU was awarded $2.5 million (2010) to establish a national centre of research excellence to improve management of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Led by Professor Jonathan Golledge, the centre brings together experts in PAD, clinical trials and guideline development and implementation from more than a dozen universities and hospitals throughout Australia.

The Cairns Institute

The Cairns Institute, established in 2009, focuses on advanced studies in the social sciences, humanities, law and business studies. It embraces more than 20 academic disciplines.

The Institute complements and adds a vital human, social and cultural dimension to other renowned JCU research centres whose work has impact on the lives of communities in the region. The Institute will work to build an evidence base for policy, service and program development to enhance quality of life in Australia and overseas.

Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA)

The Queensland Tropical Health Alliance is a unique collaboration among Queensland universities and research institutes, creating a wealth of tropical health and medical research expertise in the tropics.

The Alliance brings together, within one network, world-class researchers focused on the common goal of reducing the burden of tropical diseases in Queensland and other tropical regions.

JCU/CSIRO Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture

The Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture is an unincorporated joint venture between JCU and the CSIRO.

The joint venture was developed to more effectively deliver Research and Development to northern Australia. It is an innovative research partnership which brings together complementary strengths in ecology, management and fundamental research approaches to enhance analytical and exploratory capacity to address a wide spectrum of issues.


JCU operates in close corporation with the Australian Institute of Marine Science through its joint venture partnership AIMS@JCU.

This agreement set outs to increase research capabilities, activities, outputs and outcomes, and to improve research training opportunities for students by undertaking collectively many activities which cannot be taken individually.

Working together in the program fields of Aquaculture, Coastal Processes and Modeling, and Stress in Tropical Marine Systems also creates opportunities to develop new areas of research expertise.

Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH)

The Australian Tropical Herbarium is based in the ATFI Building at JCU’s Cairns campus and brings together the tropical plant specimen collections of the Australian National Herbarium (Atherton), the Queensland Herbarium (Mareeba) and the JCU Herbarium to form one of Australia’s largest and most diverse collections of tropical plant specimens.

This joint venture partnership between JCU, CSIRO and the Commonwealth and Queensland governments incorporates a state of the art molecular biosciences laboratory and has the potential to develop into the world’s premier centre for discovering, describing and building an understanding of the plant and fungal biodiversity of tropical rainforest systems.

Importantly, the ATH provides outstanding training opportunities for the next generation of plant and fungal taxonomists and biodiversity scientists.

Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs)

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program is an Australian Government funded initiative aimed at boosting world-class research and turning Australia’s scientific innovations into successful new products, services and technologies, and – in turn – making industries more efficient, productive and competitive.

JCU is a participant in the Innovative Manufacturing CRC.

Biological Carbon Capture and Sequestration Using Micro Algal Strains

JCU has formed a collaborative partnership with MBD Energy through the Innovative Manufacturing CRC and established a state-of-the-art research and development facility in Townsville. MBD Energy and its team at JCU are international leaders in the production of algal biomass to capture carbon dioxide as Bio-CCS.

The capture of CO2 directly from industry emissions, with a focus on coal-fired power energy generation, is a platform to deliver value adding products from algal biomass while capturing carbon emissions. CO2 is utilised as a resource to enhance algal production. In this process algae deliver biomass that is suitable for a diversity of end-uses that recycle carbon, including biofuels and animal feeds, through to carbon sequestration as biochar.

Research into micro-algae led by Associate Professor Kirsten Heimann and Professor Rocky de Nys and in collaboration with MBD Energy has successfully demonstrated that algae can be very effective in capturing carbon emissions and the captured carbon can generate valuable co-products.

This research attracted $10.4m industry and Commonwealth Government funding. In addition the research was further supported by $2.2m in industry and Queensland Government funding for the Tarong Display Plant, where flue gas from the Stanwell Energy coal-fired power station is directly captured for the enhanced growth of algal biomass in a purpose designed facility for biological carbon capture and sequestration using microalgae.

National Environmental Research Program (NERP)

Funded by the Commonwealth, the National Environmental Research Program replaced the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) program, with a focus specifically on biodiversity.

NERP has provided around $20 million each year for environmental research to improve our capacity to understand, manage and conserve Australia's unique biodiversity and ecosystems. Five research hubs are funded under the NERP program. JCU is a participant of two of these hubs:

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) is a partnership between the Australian Government and Griffith University, with a consortium of funding partners drawn from across the country. NCCARF is based at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, working in close partnership with the wider Australian climate change adaptation research community.

JCU is one of the key partners and also hosts the NCCARF research hub for Terrestrial Biodiversity, led by Professor Stephen Williams from the JCU Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change. The Centre plays a significant role in the national adaptation of terrestrial biodiversity to global climate change.