Funding: Science big winner in linkage grants

Friday, 28 June, 2013

The Faculty of Science has performed strongly to help secure UNSW the highest level of funding in the state for Linkage Project grants from the Australian Research Council.

UNSW will receive $13.2 million in grants, the second highest in the country, it was announced today.

The largest grant of $750,000 went to Professor Michael Regan, from the School of Aviation, for a naturalistic driving study, looking at innovation in road safety research and policy.

More than $668,000 was also awarded to Associate Professor Emma Johnston, for a project looking into the impacts of contaminants on ecosystem structure and function in urban waterways.

Thirty-five UNSW projects in all received support in the funding scheme that teams university researchers with industry, business and community organisations to find solutions to our most pressing problems.

“This is an impressive result for UNSW that will drive innovation across some of our most important research areas,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Les Field. “UNSW received about as much funding as the rest of NSW combined, and nearly as much as Queensland.”

The average size of UNSW’s grants was $377,000, up from $283,000 last year. “This is a good result for UNSW,” Professor Field said.

Other projects led by Faculty researchers include:

Scientia Professor Richard Bryant: Building economic development through psychosocial intervention ($624,000)

Professor Justin Gooding: The development of tuneable materials to allow the three-dimensional printing of cells ($495,000)

Associate Professor Richard Kemp: Protecting the Australian passport by developing face recognition training programs that effectively integrate human operators and machine systems ($495,000)

Professor Brett Neilan: Adaptive ecotyping of the toxic cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii to predict its invasive capacity (613,000)

Dr Mirela Tulbure: A novel approach for assessing environmental flows using satellite data. ($414,000)

Scientia Professor Aibing Yu: Fundamental studies of multiphase flow and separation performance of natural medium cyclones for recovering waste coal (455,000)

Under the Linkage scheme, industry partners must make a significant cash and/or in-kind contribution to their projects. The collaboration is essential to transforming industries, building communities and strengthening the Australian economy, said ARC CEO Professor Aidan Byrne.

“It’s about bringing together the scientists in our research institutions with industry, business and community organisations – those who can apply the outcomes of research – to tap into research expertise and share knowledge,” Professor Byrne said.

In total, 306 projects worth $101.8 million were funded in the 2013 Linkage Project round, attracting a total of $193.8 million in industry partner contributions. Project summaries are available on the ARC website.

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 1583

UNSW Science media: Deborah Smith: 9385 7307 0478 492 060