Archived News for Research Sector Professionals - June, 2012
The South Australian Government has announced Adjunct Professor don Bursill has been reappointed as the state’s Chief Scientist and Co-Chair of the Premier’s Science and Industry Council until December 2014.
State Science and Information Economy Minister, Tom Kenyon, said Professor Bursill’s reappointment reflected the strong culture and commitment to science in South Australia.
“High quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and research are critical to building a strong foundation for our economy across several of our main growth sectors,” Mr Kenyon said.
The Auditor General of Victoria, Des Pearson will chair the Advisory Board for La Trobe University’s Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance (CPSGAP).
The 2012 National Climate Change Adaptation conference has wrapped up in Melbourne, covering issues such as preventing food and water shortages, managing more intense natural disasters and their economic fallout and avoiding climate-driven extinctions.
The University of Tasmania has appointed Ms Ros Harvey to lead the SenseT project, one of the biggest coordinated investments in knowledge infrastructure in Tasmania’s history.
SenseT is a $42 million program which will use data from sensors to deliver real-time information to help industry and government make better decisions. It is expected to deliver significant productivity gains for the state’s economy as well as supporting improved management of Tasmania’s resources and the environment.
Initial practical projects will focus in agriculture and food production, emerging carbon markets, smart infrastructure and logistics, as well as catchment and flood management.
SenseT was launched by the Premier and the Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, on 14th June.
Ms Harvey, the architect of the state’s economic development plan, is currently Deputy Secretary of the Department of Economic Development Tourism and the Arts. She returned to Tasmania in 2010 after 15 years abroad.
Ms Harvey was the founding Director of the Better Work program – a partnership between the World Bank group and the UN’s International Labour Organisation based in Geneva. Better Work is globally recognised as a landmark program in the field of corporate social responsibility, global supply chains and pro-poor development.
The ANU Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute has announced $7.5 million in funding to establish three new Centres of Research Excellence in primary health care.
Australia’s four Learned Academies will form the Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects scheme to provide specialst research based evidence to the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) to form policy development areas of ‘strategic importance’.
The Western Australian Government has announced a $12.7 million investment package in new low emission energy projects in Perth, the Mid-West and the Wheatbelt.
A new research centre established in a partnership between universities in Beijing and Perth will investigate media and communications management in Australia, China and across the Asia Pacific region.
Funding for a new program to manage researcher access will enable continuation of the Australian Synchrotron.
The program will be managed by Monash University with the support of the Federal Government's investment of $30 million. Australian universities will also invest around $25 million.
Announcing the funding, Science and Research Minister Senator Chris Evans said the unique properties of synchrotron light provide experimental research results that are more accurate and clear than those obtained using traditional laboratory equipment.
"That is why it is vital Australian researchers have access to a synchrotron in their own backyard," Senator Evans said.
The new program follows an announcement in March this year of a $100 million agreement between the Australian and Victorian Governments to secure the future of the Synchrotron. This was in addition to earlier Commonwealth commitments of more than $114 million to the facility since 2006 and contributions from the Victorian Government of more than $207 million.
"The Gillard Government is enhancing Australian researcher access to the facility to ensure Australia builds on its world-class reputation and addresses the big questions facing the 21st century,” Mr Evans said.
"Under the Synchrotron Initiative, Monash University will implement a peerâ€‘reviewed, merit-based program to ensure Australian and overseas universities and medical research institutions benefit from synchrotron access over the next four years.
"The Australian Government is ensuring Australia's best minds have access to world class facilities."
This $30 million Government investment is being provided by the Australian Research Council ($25 million) and National Health and Medical Research Council ($5 million). The NHMRC previously funded the development of a medical beamline on the Synchrotron. This additional funding will help ensure the beamline is fully utilised.
Senator Evans said with the strong need to undertake R&D to transform industries and see them through challenges such as climate change, economic change and skills shortages, there has never been a more vital time to invest in the facility.
"As the Australian Synchrotron can be used to study the most precise nature of any biological and industrial material, it can be used by almost any industry across a wide range of research fields."
A new way of performing PET scans on laboratory rats that are in motion has been developed at the University of Sydney, making possible new experiments linking brain and behavioural function.
The Federal Government has announced $24 million over four years to be invested into alcohol and drug research, with a particular focus on areas such as reducing harm from alcohol, Indigenous substance misuse and workforce development.
The Federal Government has announced $4 million in funding to support projects at a number of Australian universities to improve teaching and learning outcomes in higher education.
CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope is due to start operations next year, with all 36 dishes now on site in the mid-west region of Western Australia.
Improved indicators and a more systematic collection of performance information would enhance the assessment of rural research, development and extension (RD&E), according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
The Australian National University is set to host a $100 million world-leading supercomputer that will enable data-intensive research into climate change, earch science and national water management.
The University of Sydney, the country's oldest tertiary institution, has released a major new strategy aimed at significantly improving rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in higher education, research and engagement.
The CSIRO team that invented a new, faster wireless local area networking method, which went on to form the basis of modern Wi-Fi, has won the European Inventor Award 2012.