Collaboration between University of Sydney and the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA)

  • Collaboration between University of Sydney and the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA)
    Collaboration between University of Sydney and the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA)
Monday, 29 April 2013

Dr. Leanne Piggott, Director of Business Program Unit, and Dr. Nabil Ahmad, Research Fellow at the Plant Breeding Institute, from the University of Sydney in Australia visited the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) on 29 April 2013. The Australian delegation met with a number of ICBA scientists and discussed possible research and capacity development collaboration between the University of Sydney and ICBA.This visit was a follow up to the University of Sydney and the National Research Foundation forum on “Enhancing Collaboration & Sharing Experience Forum: The University of Sydney – UAE Universities” which took place on 28 April 2013 at the National Research Foundation UAE in Dubai Knowledge Village. Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, Ms. Fiona Chandler, Director of International Cooperation and Partnership, Dr. Shoaib Ismail, Halophyte Agronomist, and Dr. Rachael McDonnell, Water Policy and Governance, from ICBA participated in the Forum. Dr. Shoaib Ismail, said that “the meeting with the University team is an excellent opportunity for ICBA that aligns with the new ICBA strategy to foster relationships and establish new partnerships to maximize the impact of ICBA research on marginal land and marginal water resources”. The meeting provided a more detailed view of ICBA and the University of Sydney’s programs and is expected to lead to research collaboration and capacity building in the region. Dr. Leanne Piggott, said “I am here as part of a visit from the University of Sydney, with colleagues from faculty of agriculture and environment and the Engineering faculty. The purpose of our visit to the UAE is a follow up on our visit of last February, in order to develop partnership with national institutions, research organizations and universities in the UAE for identifying research areas in food security.”Dr. Leanne added that they are looking for strategic partners, thus their interest in ICBA – as an internationally renowned center on saline management of production systems. Dr. Piggott said, “We are looking into collaboration on different research areas of mutual interest and expertise, including plant breeding research that can make a direct impact on the market. Leanne explained that they would be waiting to hear from ICBA their colleagues in identifying suitable crops and vegetables, on which the University of Sydney team will prepare concept note/proposal. The University of Sydney can even put a small grant to kick-start the research project. In addition, the other area of research is on the design of greenhouses that would be effective in this region and on how to use renewable energy for cooling purposes.”