Research Partnerships with Industry and the Community
The School of Civil Engineering has the expertise and facilities to work together with industry to solve difficult engineering problems related to research.
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Program is an excellent way that collaborative research between The University and industry can be supported by Australian Government supported research funding.
What is a Linkage Project?
A Linkage Project is a research project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and jointly initiated and undertaken by the University together with an industry partner. Linkage provides outcomes of strategic importance to the partner and economic, social or cultural benefit to the wider Australian community.
What can I apply for?
Support is available for the costs associated with undertaking the research including salaries for personnel, equipment, maintenance and travel. Some specific items that can be requested are:
* Australian Postgraduate Awards Industry (APAI): stipends for postgraduate research students studying towards a master's (2 years) or PhD award (3.5 years)
* Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships Industry (APDI): salary for researchers with less than three years' postdoctoral experience (APDI duration is 3 years), and
* Linkage Industry Fellowships: salary costs for up to one year associated with short-term transfers of named investigators between eligible institutions and industry.
Support is not available for clinical medicine and dental research and training, contract research or consultancies, data compilation or existing projects previously funded by the Commonwealth under an ARC scheme or via the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program.
When do I apply and how much funding can I apply for?
The maximum request is $500,000 per year for up to five years, depending on the ambition and scale of the proposed project. The minimum request is $20,000 per year. The average grant awarded by the ARC is about $100,000 per year, for three to five years.
Two application rounds are held annually - in early May and late November (internal University closing dates are mid April and early November) for funding to commence in the following January or July respectively.
What are the benefits of participating in Linkage Projects?
* The research focuses on solving a problem for the industry partner that will result in it gaining strategic benefits and competitive advantage.
* Access to ARC research funding - up to five times the amount contributed by the industry partner.
* Partnership with the University of Sydney and access to expertise and leading-edge facilities and infrastructure.
* Potential eligibility for tax concessions.
* Being associated with a leading national research funding scheme designed to benefit the broader Australian community.
What is an 'industry' partner?
Almost all public, private, community, government and non-profit organisations are eligible industry partners provided they are not primarily funded for research or research-related activities from Government sources. The following organisations and types of organisation are not eligible industry partners but they can be collaborating organisations: universities; rural research and development boards; CRCs; the Defence, Science and Technology Organisation; the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation; and CSIRO.
Overseas organisations may be included as industry partners although it is preferable to also have an Australian-based partner to ensure project outcomes will be of economic or social benefit to Australia, and used in Australia.
What is required from the partner?
Because the aim of the scheme is to achieve outcomes of strategic importance to the industry partner, Linkage Projects are jointly initiated and undertaken by the partner and University-based researchers. As well, the ARC requires from the industry partner a cash (funds to the University) and in-kind contribution (usually in the form of time committed by the industry partners personnel, or other non-monetary resources), which must at least match the total cash funding requested from the ARC. Where a project is seeking (on average) $50,000 or more per year from the ARC, the combined minimum contribution in cash should be 20 per cent of the total amount sought from the ARC. The total contribution from the industry partner must be specific to the project and not part of a broader contribution to the institution.
Where a project seeks support for an APAI student, the industry partner must contribute a minimum of $6000 in cash and a further $6000 or in kind ($12,000 in total) for each year the student is to receive a stipend.
Industry partners undertaking research in sciences and technology may apply for concessional tax treatment for contributions to a Linkage Project.
A signed agreement between the University and the partner regarding cash and in-kind contributions and management of intellectual property is required prior to commencement of funded projects.
How are applications assessed?
Applications are assessed against the following criteria:
* Track record of the named investigators relative to opportunity (20 per cent)
* Commitment from industry partner (25 per cent)
* Significance and innovation of the proposed project (25 per cent)
* Approach and training (20 per cent)
* National benefit (10 per cent)
Full details on the exact rules of the ARC Linkage Program can be found on the ARC Website