Encouraging engagement with industry and the community is the aim of a new University of Sydney seed fund for researchers.
It supports academics in forming productive partnerships to successfully apply for Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage projects or the new Cooperative Research Centres Programmes (CRC-P). Both schemes fund significant projects that apply advanced knowledge to solving problems, driving innovation and obtaining national economic, commercial, social or cultural benefits.
“Developing effective and productive relationships with industry and community partners is a key element of our strategic plan, as it’s critical to the process of translating our research into positive outcomes for society,” explained Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
“In order to achieve our ambitions, we need to invest more in helping researchers form these relationships and collaborate to address society’s challenges.”
The seed fund announcement coincides with the federal government’s changes to ARC Linkage grants, including continuous rounds and a faster decision process. The reforms are to maximise opportunities for partnerships between universities and business.
In order to achieve our ambitions, we need to invest more in helping researchers form these relationships and collaborate to address society’s challenges.
“As government increases its focus on university partnerships with industry, so does the University of Sydney,” said Andrew Tindell, Director, Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships.
“Currently, we submit around 35-40 ARC Linkage applications each year and are awarded around 16 projects each year. This is low for a university of our size and research intensity.
“We designed the University of Sydney’s seed funding program to help our researchers create the strong partnerships that form the basis of larger research collaborations with industry partners that could then go on to receive ARC Linkage or CRC-P funding.”
ARC Linkage project funding has been used to fund industry-led research such as the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies’ Professor Hala Zreiqat’s exploration of using 3D printing technology to develop synthetic bone substitutes,positively affecting the quality of life of millions of people globally.
This year the University received almost $7.5 million for ARC Linkage projects addressing issues such as such as food safety, tissue regeneration, nano-particulate systems and managing resources in cloud data centres.
In June the University and Lendlease were awarded a CRC-P grant to undertake a collaborative research project that will develop and manufacture multi-storey prefabricated houses.
The University will award up to 20 seed fund grants a year and up to half of the grants will be given to applicants who have not previously successfully applied for the ARC Linkage program.
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