Success for sciences in industry-linked ARC grants

The University of Adelaide has been awarded more than $3.6 million in industry-linked grants by the Australian Research Council (ARC) for important research that will attract a further $1.8 million in support from industry.

The research will have a positive impact on diverse areas such as defence, food production and protecting the environment.

“This new funding underscores that the University of Adelaide is a national leader in working with industry on cutting-edge research for impact. The University of Adelaide is ranked second nationally in this round of ARC Linkage grants,” said the University of Adelaide’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Anton Middelberg.

“The University of Adelaide’s research is focused on areas that are important to our state and nation. We are committed to addressing grand challenges through research in partnership with others.

“In post-COVID Australia, Federal Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge has signaled that the future of our nation depends on linkage between our universities and those partners able to help translate that work into positive outcomes. We have heard that call and we are leading the way.”

The ARC’s Linkage Program promotes national and international research partnerships between researchers and business, industry, community organisations and other publicly funded research agencies.

“In post-COVID Australia, Federal Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge has signaled that the future of our nation depends on linkage between our universities and those partners able to help translate that work into positive outcomes. We have heard that call and we are leading the way.”Professor Anton Middelberg


Defence and communications: a key strategic industry priority for South Australia

A team led by Dr Fred Baynes (School of Physical Sciences and the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing - IPAS) has received $300,000 to increase the availability of world-class precision timing, by further developing the multi-award winning sapphire clock technology.

This technology is being commercialised by Cryoclock, a startup located at Lot Fourteen. Cryoclock was founded by the University of Adelaide’s Professor Andre Luiten, Director of IPAS.

The team, which includes Professor Luiten, Professor Christophe Fumeaux, Dr John Hartnett and Associate Professor Martin O'Connor, aims to transform the technology so that its unmatched performance is available in a smaller and more easily usable size, with lower power consumption and cost.

Dr Markus Wagner (School of Computer Science and the Australian Institute for Machine Learning) has received $643,565 to work on collaborative sensing and learning for maritime situational awareness. The team will use a realistic simulation-based approach to help develop novel artificial intelligence technology including: self-adaptive strategies for dynamic asset allocation, embedded smart sensing capabilities for naval observation systems and novel approaches to continuous collaborative learning from multi-spectral media.


Agriculture: a key strategic industry priority for South Australia

$642,434 to Associate Professor Matthew Denton and Professor Tim Cavagnaro (School of Agriculture, Food and Wine) to identify and characterise soil bacteria that will allow the replacement of current agricultural fertilisers and increase Australian crop productivity.

$343,712 to Dr Iain Searle (School of Biological Sciences) to develop a drought tolerant, high protein legume for arid Australia. The project aims to use genome editing technology to generate non-transgenic common vetch with zero toxin.

$760,300 to Professor Rachel BurtonProfessor Tim Cavagnaro and Associate Professor Susan Bastian (School of Agriculture, Food and Wine) to establish agave as a sustainable, versatile and climate-proof Australian crop. The project will aim to integrate and control the production chain, encompassing plant growth, input materials, and fermentation and distillation steps for a complete plant to bottle pipeline.

All the teams in these projects work within the Waite Research Institute (WRI) which stimulates and supports research and innovation across the University of Adelaide and its partners to build capacity for Australia's agriculture, food and wine sectors.


Environment: a grand challenge for the South Australian community

Professor Sean Connell and Dr Dominic McAfee (School of Biological Sciences and the University’s Environment Institute) have received $355,822 to pursue research that will address social and ecological constraints that affect marine restoration.

The project will generate new knowledge on how communities, both human and marine, can work together to rapidly restore robust, productive reef habitats.


Mining: a key strategic industry priority for South Australia

Professor Mark Jaksa (School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering and the Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources) has received $376,265 to accelerate consolidation and closure of mine tailings storage facilities by improving the strength, stability and settlement characteristics of the tailings.


Democracy: enhancing aspects of Western democracy

Professor Lisa Hill (School of Social Sciences and the University’s Stretton Institute) has received $200,000 to undertake a project that seeks to understand and address informal voting in Australia by examining the problem of hundreds of thousands of 'lost votes' at Victorian state and local government elections. This is the first multi-dimensional analysis of informality to be conducted in any Western democracy.

More details about the Linkage Projects announced today are available from the ARC website.

Tagged in Research, School of Agriculture Food and Wine, School of Physical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Environment Institute, Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing - IPAS, Waite Research Institute

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition