Instead of having to wait for months on end to be assessed for funding, with the new continuous ARC Linkage Projects scheme, which was opened for applications in July 2016, collaborative research can now find support throughout the year.
In January, the ARC announced the first successful research projects funded under the scheme.
ARC acting chief executive officer Leanne Harvey said:
"These new Linkage Projects involve significant collaboration between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system — with matching cash and in-kind contributions provided by partner organisations, including: Queensland Gas Company; Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation; BHP Billiton Innovation; and Newcrest Mining."
The largest of the grants was awarded to a project on rail track stability led by Professor Buddhima Indraratna at the University of Wollongong. Leveraging in total $1 million, the grant of $675,000 will support research into the causes of mud pumping and the effectiveness of sub-surface drainage to prevent rail track instability.
Mud pumping occurs particularly in areas where the ground is waterlogged, and causes millions of dollars damage to Australia’s rail network every year. Fast, heavy haul trains - typically those used in mining and agriculture - can cause track depressions and mud holes, increasing the risk of derailment at certain speeds.
Professor Indraratna's research has previously been supported with several Linkage Grants , including a large grant (735,000) awarded in 2014 for work at the National Facility for Cyclic Testing of High-Speed Rail.
The other three successful projects include: