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Rio Tinto has committed a second donation to the Australia-Japan Innovation Fund (AJIF).

Rio Tinto’s latest commitment will bring its total pledges since 2018 to about $5 million in operating costs and research grants.

The AJIF, formerly known as the Foundation for Australia-Japan Studies, was established in 2015 to promote industry-academia-government collaboration between both countries.

Its mission is to elevate the profile of Australia-Japan collaboration in science, technology and innovation and support those transforming the bilateral relationship through these partnerships.

The major miner has been the sole funder of the AJIF since its foundation, and the $1.7 million it committed will be used by the AJIF to promote research and academic projects between Australia and Japan.

Specifically, the AJIF will use the money to allocate grants to research areas with close links to business between Australia and Japan, such as green steel, renewable energy systems and automated infrastructure.

The grants will support research between Australia and Japan in science and technology areas relevant to the resources industry, such as generate innovations the world needs to decarbonise.

The financial support was committed at the 2023 Australia-Japan Annual Joint Business Conference held from October 8–10 in Melbourne.

Rio Tinto chief executive Australia Kellie Parker said that science and technology are essential in tackling modern global challenges.

“We are pleased to make a second commitment to the AJIF to support research projects that can help tackle these challenges and build relationships between Australia and Japan,” she said.

AJIF chair Murray McLean applauded Rio Tinto’s commitment. “We welcome Rio Tinto’s sustained commitment to supporting collaborative cutting-edge research projects involving Australian and Japanese partners, thereby realising some of the vast potential for such research between the two countries.”