Skip to main content
The winners of the grand challenges

Nano Solutions for Grand Challenges

Transforming our economy, society and everyday life

The Sydney Nano Grand Challenges are aimed at discovering ground-breaking solutions to the world’s greatest challenges that are of social, economic and scientific significance. Bringing together researchers from across the University, the multidisciplinary Grand Challenge initiative will be enabled by advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Sydney Nano Grand Challenges are flagship programs of our Institute. They all align with the strategic priorities of the University and foster multidisciplinary collaboration amongst Faculties, other multidisciplinary institutes, Core Research Facilities and Professional Service Units.

Each Grand Challenge engages researchers across the whole University and comprises most senior academics to researchers in the early stages of their career. They provide opportunities for multidisciplinary research and education while presenting opportunities for industry partnerships, commercialisation and outreach with the public.

Our inaugural Grand Challenges are:

Capturing water from thin air

Developing a low cost method to capture enough water from the atmosphere to alleviate the effect of drought by providing water for consumption by humans and animals, and for irrigating plants.

Using nanotechnology for carbon-neutral manufacturing

Reducing CO2 emissions in manufacturing processes and converting CO2 into commercial products through nanocatalysis.

Creating safe and sustainable nanotechnology

Developing a regulation framework to assess safety, efficacy and toxicity, and guide the future development of nanomaterials – across drug formulations, food additives and biosensors.

Developing nanorobots for health care

Building autonomous, programmable nanorobots to navigate through the body to detect and treat early disease.

Discovering next-generation materials

Simulating new materials from a single atom to fully functioning devices using quantum computers, multiscale simulation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Delivering cures for neurological diseases

Rethinking the means of intervention into the human nervous system to make untreatable neurological diseases treatable, and to transform treatments into comprehensive cures.