Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
July 2009 Issue
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Adelaide takes lead on industry-linked research


The University of Adelaide has become the number one university in the State for research in collaboration with industry.

This comes as 10 new research projects led by the University of Adelaide have been awarded more than $2.9 million in Federal funding.

The winning projects - spanning the fields of environment and ecology, water, agriculture, finance, health, genetics and marketing - were announced in Round 2 of the Australian Research Council's (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme for 2009.

"This latest funding brings the total awarded for industry-linked research at the University of Adelaide this year to more than $7.2 million," said the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks.

"It's a welcome boost for collaborative research funding at the University, and it represents 60% of the total funding awarded under this scheme in the State this year.

"The gains in research funding demonstrate the University of Adelaide's strong reputation for engaging with research partners such as industry and government, and meeting the needs of those partners in an applied and practical way. This is part of a trend that is seeing the University's overall research earnings increasing year on year, including the basic research that underpins much of our innovation.

"Much of this research is aimed at addressing strategic needs for the State and the nation, which means our work can have a direct impact on the economy, the environment, and on society as a whole."

Professor Brooks said the quality of the University of Adelaide's research projects was outstanding, with a funding success rate over the last two rounds of 71%, well above the national average of 48% and the highest of any Group of Eight university.

Among the successful research projects to win funding in this Linkage Projects round were:

  • a study of "environmental genomics", looking at issues related to mining, climate change, water, crime and health - $500,000 to Professor Alan Cooper (ARC Federation Fellow, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences; and Director, Australian Centre for Ancient DNA);
  • improved nitrogen use efficiency in cereal crops - $480,000 to Dr Brent Kaiser (Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Wine and Horticulture);
  • reduced water consumption in commercial malting processes - $450,000 to Professor Geoff Fincher (Deputy CEO of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG)).

"Importantly, collaborative research projects attract cash and in-kind support from our other research partners. In the case of this latest round of funding, the winning projects also stand to collectively receive more than $6.3 million in contributions from our partners," Professor Brooks said.

Story by David Ellis

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