COLLABORATION

Australian government to invest in higher education research collaboration

SOURCE: Mark Thompson/Unsplash
The government funds will work to build or enhance existing research infrastructure.

The Australian government has recently unveiled plans to enhance the nation’s research capabilities and future employment prospects through designated funding for higher education research infrastructure and business collaborative initiatives. 

Australia Minister of Education Dan Tehan recently announced that the government will make investments amounting up to AU$30.7 million in 47 world-leading research projects that are expected to deliver real-world benefits for Australians. 

The projects are expected to leverage and expand research capabilities of some of the nation’s best universities to conduct cutting-edge research in advanced sectors including manufacturing, technology, sustainable energy, and more. 

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The government funding will be used by the respective universities to build new equipment or upgrade existing facilities to carry out these research initiatives. 

The research initiatives that will receive government funding include the University of Sydney’s Artificial Intelligence research project to establish a Volta graphical processing unit Cluster worth AU$900,000, the University of Melbourne’s AU$600,000 world-leading research facility to engineer quantum-grade diamond for precision sensing, secure communications and desktop quantum computing applications, and the University of Tasmania’s initiative to establish an Antarctic-based set of seismic instruments and a mobile facility to investigate the evolution and movement of ice sheets worth AU$420,000. 

Australian Government
The research projects will result in job opportunity and business growth for the country. Source: Evangeline Shaw/Unsplash.

“The research done by our universities can lead to the development of new products and innovations that drive job growth, business opportunities and productivity gains,” said Tehan. 

“Our Government is making a significant investment in Australia’s leading-edge research infrastructure. The Morrison Government is encouraging greater collaboration between universities and businesses on research innovation and workforce preparation.”

Meanwhile, the Morrison Government will also put in AU$7.5 million in funding for 18 new research collaborations supported by funding through the Australian Research Council to encourage greater collaboration between universities and businesses to advance research innovation and a prepare a skilled workforce. 

This includes an AU$584,731 grant for Curtin University to develop a new method of producing, storing, and exporting green hydrogen using Australian resources, AU$422,881 for the University of New South Wales to produce more durable and powerful energy storage devices, and AU$540,000 for the University of Melbourne to develop technology to accurately assess the performance of aluminium cladding, glass facades and skylights under severe hailstorm events. 

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“Our Government is investing in partnerships between universities, industry and government to drive the commercialisation of research. We are encouraging greater collaboration between universities and businesses on research innovation and workforce preparation,” said Tehan. 

The research projects above will involve in-depth collaboration with industry leaders and government organisations to advance the country’s research priority areas. 

The funding falls under the Australian Research Council’s linkage projects which aim to support the development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and industry and other research end-users.