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Australian Research Council to fund new research hubs and training centres in universities to boost research innovation

New university-based Research Hubs and Training Centres are set to receive Australian Government support which will boost research on important industry challenges.

According to the announcement made by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the research will focus on important innovations that include advancing artificial intelligence to improve farming efficiency; developing smart materials for safer and more durable road construction; and supporting the growth of the Australian native food industry.

ARC CEO Professor Sue Thomas welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, of A$ 46.9 million funding through the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP).

In order to be eligible for funding under the ITRP, proposals need to address one or more of the Industrial Transformation Priority areas such as advanced manufacturing; cybersecurity; food and agribusiness; oil, gas and energy resources; mining equipment, technology and services; and medical technologies and pharmaceuticals.

The funding will support four new ARC Research Hubs and seven new ARC Training Centres that will be led by Australian universities and will involve significant collaboration with industry.

Professor Thomas explained that the funding will support research innovation in Australia that is targeted to areas that will make a difference to Australians, and which will lead to tangible outcomes and economic benefits.

She added that this A$ 46.9 million for the 2018 round of ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs and Training Centres will encourage important research partnerships between university-based researchers and with industry to address ‘real-world’ challenges.

Worth A$ 18 million under the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme, the four new ARC Research Hubs are:

(1)    ARC Research Hub for Integrated Energy Storage Solutions, to be led by Professor Zhao Yang Dong from the University of New South Wales.

(2)    ARC Research Hub for Driving Farming Productivity and Disease Prevention, to be led by Professor Yongsheng Gao from the Griffith University.

(3)    ARC Research Hub for Medicinal Agriculture, to be led by Professor Tony Bacic from La Trobe University

(4)    ARC Research Hub for Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements, to be led by Professor Jayantha Kodikara from Monash University.

Worth A$ 28.9 million under the Industrial Transformation Training Centres, the seven new ARC Training Centres are:

(1)    ARC Training Centre for Multiscale 3D Imaging, Modelling and Manufacturing, to be led by Professor Mark Knackstedt from the Australian National University.

(2)    ARC Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods, to be led by Associate Professor Yasmina Sultanbawa from the University of Queensland.

(3)    ARC Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies, to be led by Professor Maria Forsyth from Deakin University.

(4)    ARC Training Centre for the Development of Tools for Fragment Based Design, to be led by Associate Professor Martin Scanlon from Monash University.

(5)    ARC Training Centre in Surface Engineering for Advanced Materials, to be led by Professor Christopher Berndt from Swinburne University of Technology.

(6)    ARC Training Centre for Medical Implant Technologies, to be led by Professor Peter Lee from the University of Melbourne

(7)    ARC Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science, to be led by Professor Andrew Rohl from Curtin University.

Aside from the A$ 46.9 million funding from the Australian Government, the new ARC Research Hubs and Training Centres will receive an additional co-funding of A$ 64.4 million from Partner Organisations, which represents A$1.37 investment for every Australian Government dollar.

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