Linked up

24 February 2017

The Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects scheme has awarded another $4.9 million to eleven Australian research-industry collaborations.

The interactive infographic shows how the 2016 linkage grants distributed across states and universities. Click infographic to explore.

It is the second announcement since the scheme has adopted a continuous application modus and the awarded grants are still part of the 2016 funding round.

To date it has delivered $87 million to 246 projects, which were selected at a success rate of 32%.

On a per capita basis, the 2016 Linkage grants spread fairly evenly across the states (see infographic).

However, among the universities there are two clear stand outs in forging successful research-industry alliances: the University of Melbourne (38 grants) and the University of Queensland (33 grants). Together, the two universities account for almost 30% of the successful projects in the 2016 round.

Linkage grants address a broad range of issues, involve risk or innovation, and often have broader national significance.

Examples in the latest funding announcement include a project by the University of Melbourne and the Reserve Band of Australia which aims to develop the next generation of anti-counterfeiting features for future Australian banknotes.

The importance of such technological advancement became apparent last year when reports on increases in the circulation of fake $50 notes suggested that the security features provided through polymer banknotes may soon be outdated.

The next generation of anti-counterfeiting features is the aim of a Linkage Project from the University of Melbourne

Through the project, the Reserve Banks aims to draw on nanophotonic metamaterials to stay abreast of criminal activity. This involves novel ultra-thin films that are patterned on the nanoscale to produce optical effects that can easily be recognised. 

Another Linkage grant will help the University of Tasmania and Taiwanese-based optical manufacturer Young Optics to micro-engineer high speed, high fidelity 3-D printers. The technology will then form the basis of the next generation of portable analytical systems that can analysis complex samples on-the-spot, such as nutrients in fertiliser run-off.

The latest round of Linkage grants will also support:
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