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Latest academia-industry collaboration grants announced


Australian Research Council provides A$29.5 million but two grants ‘still being considered’ by education minister

The winners in the latest round of Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants have been announced, with A$29.5 million in funding going to projects involving universities and industry partners.

One of the largest of the ARC grants, at nearly A$1m, is for a joint University of Queensland, industry and military project that is developing an electric hypersonic engine potentially capable of hitting 10,000 kilometres an hour.

There are 65 grants in the list of approved projects; two applications that appeared on a list of recommended grants published earlier this month are not on the list, and the ARC’s website suggests that the full round has not been announced yet.

In 2020, 18 grants were withheld while security checks were made, and five were ultimately rejected. The two missing grants in this round have topics to do with humanitarian aid and education equality. An ARC spokesperson said the two grants were still being considered by education minister Alan Tudge.

Successful grants include A$352,000 to develop filters to remove microplastics from water in a joint project between the University of Newcastle and two mining companies, and A$450,000 for work on cryogenic fluids by the University of Western Australia and a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.

Griffith University and the Territory Families corporation will receive A$377,000 to develop a better interview framework for authorities working with Aboriginal families, and the University of Technology Sydney’s battery programme has received a A$461,000 grant.

Queensland University of Technology will team up with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, a wine industry research body and a molecular diagnostics firm to develop sensors for “smoke taint” in vineyards, with a A$261,000 grant.

Projects researching fox control, substance abuse and decarbonisation methods are also among those funded.

Full information on the breakdown of successful universities and fields of research will be made available when the full round has been announced. The announcement does not include the contribution of the partner organisations. Cash or in-kind support is a condition of Linkage Project grants.