SA and University of Adelaide partner for research infrastructure

Four collaborative research centres at the University of Adelaide have received a boost in funding from the South Australian government and the University of Adelaide.

Both the South Australian government and the University of Adelaide will each contribute $6.77 million in funding for advanced manufacturing, defence, resources, biomedical and agriculture research.

Specifically, the organisations that will receive funding are; Microscopy Australia, the Plant Accelerator – part of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility – Optofab Adelaide, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network.

Among other areas, these organisations drive innovation in the field of sub-nanometre visualisation, data analytics and machine learning for the agricultural industry and optical fibre and glass fabrication facilities.

According to professor Michael Liebelt, acting deputy vice-chancellor research, at the University of Adelaide, this investment will support connections between industry and researchers.

“Such investment in research infrastructure is essential for the future of South Australia and is key to attracting and developing new industry and global partners for South Australia. This investment in research capability will directly support many of the University’s industry engagement priorities – which include defence; energy, mining and resources; health and biotechnology; and agrifood and wine – and our focus on environmental sustainability,” said Liebelt.

The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy drives support to these industries. First announced in 2015, since its first tranche of funding in 2017, the NCRIS supports 40,000 domestic and international users each year.

The program sees the government collaboratively identifying priorities for research infrastructure investment and addressing the needs of end users, such as industry, government and the broader sector. Priority national research infrastructure project receive grants for operating and capital expenses and are supplemented by co-investment from other parties.

Projects funded in the past through this initiative have included partnerships between the Microscopy Australia – who has received funding in this announcement – and BlueScope steel to improve steels developed by Bluescope.