ARC Centres of Excellence

ARC Centres of Excellence are funded on the basis of research excellence and their potential to contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of Australia.

The University of Sydney is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence:

The University also plays a fundamental role in nine national ARC Centres of Excellence:

Autonomous Systems
Autonomous systems are the physical embodiment of machine intelligence. The Centre aims to research and explore the nature of intelligence in problems of perception learning and control, and lay the scientific groundwork for the development and application of intelligent autonomous systems.

The Centre will establish a vibrant new autonomous system industry in Australia, with implications for a broad range of industries; from land and maritime defence, to social applications such as robotic wheelchairs.

The Centre brings together the existing ARC Key Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney, the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales, and the Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems Group at the University of Technology, Sydney.

CAASTRO: ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics
By bringing Australia's top astronomers together into a focused collaboration, CAASTRA will boost Australia's outstanding track record as a world leader in astronomy. It will answer fundamental questions about the nature of the Universe, develop innovative ways of processing enormous data-sets, and enable a diverse set of opportunities for students and early career researchers.

The students we mentor will lead the scientific discoveries made on future wide-field facilities, culminating in the ultimate all-sky telescope, the Square Kilometre Array. All CAASTRO activities have a strong focus on training the next generation of scientists, providing a legacy extending well beyond the Centre's lifetime.

Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems.
CUDOS brings together a powerful team of researchers in optical science and photonics technology both in Australia and internationally whose efforts will lead to significant advancement in capabilities and knowledge in this crucial field. CUDOS will develop the science and engineering to transform photonic integrated circuits into a practical, powerful technology employing optical signal processing to enable critical applications spanning communications, sensing and security.

With funding from the ARC’s Centres of Excellence Program, and further support from our seven constituent universities, fifteen partner investigators, and the New South Wales State Government their work will lead to a substantial growth in employment in advanced manufacturing and the ICT sector, and will optimise the economic and social value to Australia of the National Broadband Network.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale
Through the Centre, terascale high energy particle physics research across Australia is coordinated for the first time. The CoEPP also enables participation in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, allowing our scientists to share in the knowledge of how particles gain mass, explore the identity of cosmological dark matter, and enable the discovery of new physical laws.

Established in 2011 the ARC grant of approximately $25 million over seven years, CoEPP is a collaborative research venture between the University of Sydney, the University of Adelaide, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, who also hosts the head office, and international partners.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
Arranged into 4 mission-based work-packages (Quantum Communications, Optical Quantum Computation, Silicon Quantum Computation and Resources and Integration) the CQC2T is an international research effort set to develop science and technology for a global quantum information network.
CQC2T was established in 2011 with extensive funds from the Australian Research Council, the US National Security Agency, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, the Department of Defence, the NSW State Government and 7 participating Australian institutions including the University of Sydney. The Centre forms one of the largest combined and focused efforts in quantum computation and communication in the world.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS)
Often the effects of quantum mechanics have been taken for granted, we benefit from these systems without intruding on the sub-atomic level. The Australian research effort for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS) aims to engineer functioning quantum technologies. This combined research effort involves investigators from University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Macquarie University and University of Western Australia, and $25 million, including 5.6 million to USyd, in ARC funding. EQuS intends to combine proven quantum architectures into hybrid systems to realise behaviours not possible in each system on its own, and develop theoretical approaches for complex quantum systems to enable a first-principles approach to design of future quantum technologies.

ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science focuses on unravelling the cellular basis of visual sensing and processing, revealing the algorithms that underlie the visual control of behaviour and perception and discovering the cellular mechanism that make the eye and retina stable – and whose breakdown causes blindness.

Bringing together major brain research programs in vision sciences from The Australian National University, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, and The University of Western Australia, The Centre aims to understand of retinal mechanisms and brain algorithms of vision, the application of this knowledge to the design of autonomous visually guided robots (e.g. flying machines), and laying the scientific foundation for diagnosis and therapy in a range of age-related blinding diseases.

ARC Centre of Excellence in Design in Light Metals
Using a novel ‘design-directed’ approach to fundamental research, The ARC Centre in Design in Light Metals addresses strategic design targets through innovations in structural design at the nanoscale and advances in processing, to enhance the properties of existing alloys economically. It will also embrace innovation in design of light metal systems to create novel hybrid and surface-modified materials that expand the range of properties available and thus the applications for light metals.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals is a national Centre engaging six major research-intensive Universities, and all of the leading light alloy research groups in the university sector in Australia, making the Centre one of the most inclusive of national research efforts in the ARC Centres of Excellence program.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology
The aim of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology is to develop new methods of radical generation and explore new reactions of synthetic significance involving radicals, including novel polymerisation processes. It will expand the frontiers of free radical chemistry and biotechnology, and develop advanced materials and technologies for building and transforming industry.

Established in 2005, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology is a collaborative effort involving 6 universities and the Heart Research Institute.

ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders
The greatest beneficiaries of The ARC Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders’ research and intervention programs will be health care, education and social welfare in Australia. The Centre will conduct large scale multi-site studies of cognitive disorders, which would otherwise be virtually impossible. The Centre will also further enhance Australia’s international reputation in the study of cognition and its disorders.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders will advance theory and research in three areas of cognitive science including the treatment of cognitive disorders. The Centre's interdisciplinary research teams will tackle several basic questions in cognitive science, and will implement intervention programs that will inform educational policy and practice, with considerable potential impact for the health and social well-being of Australia.

ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
Recent fear-driven fluctuations of the global stock market, and the high-tension debates over refugees and climate change, show the immense power of communal emotions. By addressing the big question of how societies think, feel and function, this Centre will enhance understanding of how to improve emotional health among modern Australians.

Through major reflective performances in drama, opera and art this research will invigorate Australian culture and help explain the causes and consequences of mass emotional events, and heighten Australia’s international reputation for excellence in Humanities and Performing Arts research.

ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research
The Centre for Population Ageing Research addresses one of the major social challenges of the 21st century. The Centre’s mission is to produce research that will transform thinking about population ageing, inform private and public sector policy, and improve the well-being of the aged and their social and economic environment.

By drawing on strong international networks, powerful industry alliances, and a unique combination of high level, cross-disciplinary expertise – including Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Epidemiology, Actuarial Science, and Demography – the Centre will establish Australia as a world leader in the field of population ageing research.