Industry Laureate Fellowships highlight innovative ideas

students on university campus

The University of Adelaide’s ability to partner with industry to produce ground-breaking research has been showcased with more than $10 million awarded for three Australian Research Council (ARC) Industry Laureate Fellowships. 

On Monday, the ARC awarded $27 million for eight Industry Laureate Fellowships to bring industry together with Australia’s outstanding researchers to translate innovative ideas into outcomes that benefit industry partners, end users and the Australian economy. 

“Having three of the eight Fellowships right here in Adelaide is a fantastic result for the University and for the state of South Australia,” said Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research) at the University of Adelaide. 

“This goes to prove that the University of Adelaide is home to world-class research that will make a real-world difference with issues of global importance. 

“Whether it’s developing digital and forensic tools to combat wildlife crime, to the manufacture of material that will transform internet speeds or designing sodium-based batteries to store renewable energy, all of these projects show how the University is working hand-in-hand with industry to benefit the economy.” 

Associate Professor Phillip Cassey, Lead of the Invasion Science and Wildlife Ecology Lab at the University of Adelaide, will lead a project aimed at combatting wildlife crime and preventing environmental harm. 

The project – which has received $3,763,434 million in funding - will develop new and digital wildlife forensic tools to improve the surveillance and detection of the illegal killing and trade of wild animals and plants, to safeguard Australia’s biodiversity and natural environment. 

Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem, Deputy Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and Director of the Optofab Adelaide Hub at the Australian National Fabrication Facility, is leading a project on breaking through the manufacturing glass ceiling for ZBLAN glass fibres. 

Working with industry partner Flawless Photonics, this project, which received $3,359,464 million in funding, aims to improve the purity and manufacturing scale of fluoride glass optical fibres, which promises faster internet speeds, communication, and laser surgery applications. 

Professor Shizhang Qiao, founding Director of Centre for Materials in Energy and Catalysis, will lead a project, which received $3,516,522 in funding that will develop new sodium batteries that can store renewable energy and manage the release of excess energy into power grids during peak demand in Australia. 

In addition, an innovative industry manufacturing capability will be established, providing economic benefits including export opportunities, all while helping to reduce energy costs and contribute to achieving net-zero emissions. 

The ARC Industry Laureate Fellowships help build skills and networks across universities and industry to conduct ground-breaking, internationally competitive research while achieving tangible outcomes. 

For more information on each of the respective ARC Industry Laureate Fellowships, visit 

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