University of Melbourne leads the way in ARC Linkage awards

March 17 / 191

University of Melbourne researchers have been awarded more than $3 million in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects announced last week by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham.

The Federal Government has awarded a total of $4.9 million to 11 research projects that will be carried out by Australian universities in collaboration with industry partners across several areas.

The six new Linkage Projects are:

* Professor Anne Roberts from the Faculty of Science will work with the Reserve Bank to strengthen anti-counterfeiting features in Australian and foreign banknotes;

* Professor Robin Gasser and colleagues from the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences will work with the Melbourne Water Corporation to develop an integrated and monitoring program to ensure the ongoing quality and security of supplies of fresh drinking water;

* Professor Deli Chen and colleagues from the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences will join with Incitec Pivot Ltd to develop next-generation fertiliser products to improve nitrogen use in food production, thereby leading to better food security;

* Professor Ian Woodrow and colleagues from the Faculty of Science will work with Gretals Australia Ltd and Felton Grimwade and Bosisto’s Ltd to develop eucalypt plantations for pharmaceutical flavanone production;

* Professor Paul Gleeson and colleagues from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences will join forces with CSL Ltd to investigate ways to rescue protein molecules that have been internalised into cells from the circulation with the aim of designing new protein therapeutics with extended half-lives;

* Dr Ranjith Rajeskharan Unnithan and colleagues from the Faculty of Engineering will work with Digital Falcon Pty Ltd to develop a technology to produce multispectral imaging of objects of interest with specificity, clarity and sharpness.

The Linkage Projects scheme aims to encourage cooperative approaches to research, funding academics to work with partners in business, industry or community organisations, in a bid to strengthen Australia’s overall innovation system.

Professor James McCluskey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said the grants recognised the importance of innovative research that build on links with industries and existing community programs.

“The University is committed to increasing the impact of its research and to do this, quality industry partnerships are imperative. Today’s results affirm that commitment.

“I’m proud of the research being undertaken by our academics at the University and pleased it aims to make a practical impact with social, cultural and economic benefits.”

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