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Australian Research Council awards A$26.5 million research grants to 66 projects

An announcement made by the Australian Research Council (ARC) featured the research projects that were granted, under the ARC Linkage Projects scheme, a total of A$26.5 million. This provides support for across researchers in the higher education system to take part in fundamental research collaborations.

According to ARC Chief Executive Officer Professor Sue Thomas, there are 66 successful new research projects, under the ARC Linkage Projects scheme, that were announced by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham. These research projects were granted a total of A$26.5 million.

Professor Thomas said, “The ARC’s Linkage Projects scheme provides targeted support for researchers across the higher education system to take part in vital research collaborations with other parts of the innovation system, including partnerships with industry and community organisations.”

She added, “These important collaborations allow university-based researchers to work with their industry research partners to develop practical solutions to real-world challenges in practical settings.”

She explained, “These 66 projects will involve cash and in-kind support of a further $55.4 million from 146 supporting partner organisations, on top of this substantial Australian Government investment.”

Some of the projects that were awarded funding include research to develop automated road safety systems, advanced monitoring systems to increase ship safety, and novel methods to detect water contamination.

A$240,519 was given to Professor Brijesh Verma from the Central Queensland University, who is collaborating with the QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads. This is for the development of an automated system that uses deep learning techniques to analyse video data collected about roadside conditions for the improvement of road safety.

Professor Jason Lavroff from the University of Tasmania, in collaboration with Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd and Revolution Design Pty Ltd, was awarded A$460,000. Their research involves developing a monitoring system to remotely measure ship motions, loads and ride control activity to increase ship safety, vessel longevity and improved passenger comfort for all types of vessels worldwide.

Professor Una Ryan, from Murdoch University, is working with SEQWater, Water NSW, and South Australian Water Corporation. With A$355,000, they will develop a novel and lower-cost method for rapid detection of Cryptosporidium, norovirus and adenovirus in drinking water, to improve diagnostics and water treatment.

Professor Andrew Beer from the University of South Australia is working with SA Department of State Development, Toyota Australia, GM Holden Ltd, SA Department of Premier and Cabinet, SA Department of Employment, SA Health, South Australian Council of Social Service Inc., and Anglicare SA Ltd. With a grant of A$1,375,000, they will shed light on how Australia's workforce and communities will engage with the world of work in a future shaped by new business models and disruptive technologies.

A$629,331 was awarded to Dr Benjamin Cleveland from the University of Melbourne. He will be collaborating with the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta; Goodlife Trading Trust, Landy Family Trust, J Littlefield and Stephens Family Trust, Lauchlan Family Trust, Le Nepveu Family Trust , and Curran Family Trust; SA Department for Education and Child Development; Hobsons Bay City Council; and the QLD Department of State Development. They will generate new knowledge to plan, design, govern and manage school facilities and infrastructure, enabling schools to be maximised as ‘community hubs’.

Professor John Potts from Macquarie University, in collaboration with Kaldor Public Art Projects (KPAP), received A$110,986.  Their research will focus on digitising the KPAP archive as an online resource available to researchers and the public. It will also serve as a permanent record of the development of innovative public art in Australia spanning the five decades of the KPAP.

Dr Joseph Coventry from the Australian National University will receive A$440,000. He is working with Vast Solar Pty Ltd; Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, USA; and Nano Frontier Technology Co Ltd in order to advance the development of high performing, durable, low-cost light absorber coatings for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. This is to support the development of CSP as a competitive technology for energy generation.

The ARC accepts proposals under the Linkage Projects scheme on a continuous basis. Successful grants are announced throughout the year.

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