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ARC Linkage Grants recognise innovative research ideas


3 July 2012

Professor Marcela Bilek uses an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to analyse the surface of a material. In this ARC Linkage Project, Professor Bilek will use the X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to look at and analyse surface contaminants on glass.
Professor Marcela Bilek uses an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to analyse the surface of a material. In this ARC Linkage Project, Professor Bilek will use the X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to look at and analyse surface contaminants on glass.

Koala conservation, lowering emissions from buildings, an evaluation of immigration policy and the better use of fruit and vegetable waste are some of the University of Sydney research projects to benefit from the latest round of Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants.

The University of Sydney will receive a total of $3.76 million over the next four years from the Australian Research Council for 10 projects, some of which are outlined below.

These projects will be supported by additional $1.6 million cash contributions and further 'in-kind' contributions of around $6.8 million from partner organisations and other collaborators.

ARC Linkage Projects link researchers with partner organisations outside of the higher education sector to carry out collaborative research in any discipline.

Professor Marcela Bilek and Professor David McKenzie, School of Physics will receive $730,000 for collaborating with VELUX, a leading glazing manufacturer, to develop new vacuum-insulated windows made from toughened glass. The windows will make buildings more energy efficient.

A project led by Professor Mary Crock, Sydney Law School will receive $320,000 for the interdisciplinary, multi-national study to evaluate the impact of immigration policy over 50 years and across five countries, includes measures to deter and control irregular immigration. The partner organisations are Australian Department of Immigration and the Migration Institute of Australia, Harvard University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

A team led by Professor Mark Adams, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, has secured $530,000 to develop new technologies for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from a range of ecosystems and to explore soil-based measures to mitigate emissions. Their partner organsations are Philip Bushell Foundation, Auscott, Coolrington Pastoral Company, Hazeldean, Picarro and Landcare.Research.

Dr Anne Clarke and Professor Alison Bashford, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, will receive $820,000 to investigate stories associated with Sydney's Quarantine Station and the international connections binding the history of quarantine with immigration sites around the world. Partner organisation is Mawland Quarantine Station.

A project led by Professor Herman Raadsma, Faculty of Veterinary Science, in partnership with San Diego Zoo Global will receive $115,218 to use cutting edge whole-genome technology to address koala conservation management.

Professor Chris Rissel, School of Public Health, will lead a team receiving $382,219 to develop a more accurate and simple approach to measuring the impact of new cycling infrastructure. The partner organisations are the National Heart Foundation of Australia, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW Ministry of Health, City of Sydney Council and the NSW Premier's Council for Active Living.

Professor Timothy Langrish, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will receive $105,000 to develop new processing techniques to contribute to better foods and bioactive products from fruit and vegetable wastes. The national fruit and vegetable crop produces over three million tonnes of waste each year, with bioactive material worth a potential $3 billion a year. The partner organisation is Lang Technologies.

Other successful projects include development of a model to deliver ultra-low doses of drug molecules for respiratory diseases and building portal frames in cold-formed steel at twice the span currently available.

"These projects will deliver tangible economic outcomes for all Australians. It is important to invest in science and research to drive innovation and growth in the Australian economy - after the mining boom is over, Australia will remain a smart country," said Federal Science and Research Minister Senator Chris Evans.

The funding is part of almost $59 million being awarded to Australian universities for 185 new research Linkage Projects to start in July 2012.


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Media enquiries: Verity Leatherdale, 02 9351 4312, 0403 067 342, verity.leatherdale@sydney.edu.au