May 17, 2019 — The Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (research lead) have announced an A$1 million Frontier grant, with the potential for multi-million dollar follow-on funding, to address the global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The OUTBREAK (One-health Understanding Through Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics Knowledge) Consortium, made up of 26 team members from 14 organizations (including MicroGEM), will build a cost-efficient, AI-powered, Australia-wide system for tracing, tracking and tackling antimicrobial resistance – a ‘knowledge engine’ capable of predicting outbreaks and informing interventions.

As a member of the consortium, MicroGEM’s CSO, David Saul, is providing the PDQeX Nucleic Acid Extractor and long-read-length extraction expertise.

One of 10 projects chosen from a field of over 150 proposals, the pioneering work seeks to reduce person-to-person transmissions and hospital stays, as well as propagation in the environment and agricultural systems. The project, including its sensor technology, data, knowledge and artificial intelligence, will advance global digital health capabilities to ultimately create a worldwide AI-powered network of AMR surveillance and mitigation.

The OUTBREAK Consortium is represented by team members from the University of Technology Sydney, University of South Australia, University of Wollongong, University of Newcastle, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Sax Institute, the Quadram Institute (UK), Sensing Value, Microba, Southern-IML Pathology, Oracle, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, and MicroGEM.

Read the UTS press release.