Archived News for Research Sector Professionals - February, 2012
Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and Suntech Power Holdings have developed the world's most efficient broadband nanoplasmonic solar cells.
In a paper published in Nano Letters, the researchers describe how they have manufactured thin film solar cells with an absolute efficiency of 8.1 per cent.
The research was conducted under the auspices of the Victoria-Suntech Advanced Solar Facility (VSASF) at Swinburne, a $12 million program jointly funded by the Victorian Government, Swinburne and Suntech. The group is working to increase the efficiency of thin film solar technology.
Victoria will be home to one of Australia’s fastest supercomputers and the world’s greenest supercomputer, the IBM Blue Gene/Q, which will be housed at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI) hosted by the University of Melbourne, and is aimed at advancing the study of human disease.
Federal Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, will lead an Australian delegation to China and Italy to promote Australia’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a publication Ten of the Best Research Projects 2011, which profiles ten leading research projects undertaken by NHMRC-funded researchers.
Federal Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has addressed the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), where he reiterated the importance of the mathematical sciences to the future prosperity of the country.
Edith Cowan University (ECU) and Intellectual Ventures (IV®) have signed an agreement under which ECU researchers will create certain new inventions and innovations that IV will invest in and work to commercialise.
Winners of Research and Innovation Postgraduate Scholarships through the Northern Territory Research and Innovation Fund have been announced by the NT Minister for Business and Employment, Delia Lawrie.
The Northern Territory Research and Innovation Postgraduate Scholarships annually offer assistance to students who are enrolled in a postgraduate degree and are undertaking research that is aligned to the Northern Territory Government’s research priorities.
Scholarships are drawn from a fund totalling $1.2m over three years held in trust at Charles Darwin University, and used to further the successful applicant’s research — for example, to purchase equipment required for research, or to undertake study-related travel.
“Scholarships are awarded for applicants with outcomes that have potential in solving a problem, addressing an issue of significance, or developing an opportunity in the social, environmental or economic areas,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Applications have increased 400% in the last two years, a testament to the growth of creativity and innovation in Territory students.
Scholarship winners include:
Australian National University Australian Capital Territory/Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Darwin
Indigenous use of plain resources; implications for climate change adaptation
Flinders University, South Australia
Population dynamics of the endangered Slater’s Skink, Liopholis slateri
University of Adelaide, South Australia
Management and special ecology of the brush-tailed mulgara (Dasycercus blythi) in Central Australia
Tjanara Goreng Goreng
University of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
The impact of elders on community development/private enterprise development in the Anangu Pitjanjatjara lands near Uluru Kata Juta National Park
Charles Darwin University
Ecology and management of Macrobrachium rosenbergii in Northern Australia
Charles Darwin University:
Effectiveness of various models of preservice teacher placement
Charles Darwin University:
Improving survival rates of hatchling saltwater crocodiles to one year
Information on the scholarships, and Northern Territory Government Research Priorities can be found at www.innovation.nt.gov.au.
The Western Australian Science and Innovation Minister John Day has launched three new programs to build industry, science and innovation in Western Australia.
The University of Sydney has been commended by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) for its strong research performance and its successful efforts to build multidisciplinary and international research collaborations.
Biofuel technology being developed by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers has caught the interest of the US Navy, which is currently in Australia on an alternative fuel fact-finding mission.
Respiratory specialist Professor Geoff Laurent, currently Director of the Centre for Respiratory Research and Head of Department of Internal Medicine at University College London, will return to Australia later this year will lead a new Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine to be established at The University of Western Australia.
Professor Laurent currently directs a team of scientists and physicians conducting research into basic aspects of lung inflammation and mechanisms of tissue repair. New therapeutic approaches developed by his team are now being tested in patients suffering with chronic lung diseases.
He has published more than 200 articles in international journals of biomedical research. He was recently awarded the European Respiratory Societies Presidential Award for his contribution to lung science and is currently its Director of Science. He has also edited several books including a four-volume Encyclopaedia of Respiratory Medicine and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and President of the British Association for Lung Research.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said UWA had significant internationally-recognised stem cell expertise and the new centre would help the University take a leading global position in relation to stem cell research.
A new laboratory for the identification of Western Australian fauna using modern DNA technology has been launched at the Western Australian Museum’s Collection and Research Centre.
A group of Australia’s leading cancer charities has called for a national cancer research plan to better coordinate investment in cancer research.
The Cancer Research Leadership Forum (CRLF) released a white paper, ‘Towards a National Cancer Research Plan’, on the eve of World Cancer Day (4 February).
The paper calls for the development of an all-encompassing national cancer research plan to coordinate investment in research and accelerate progress in cancer control.
Supported by Macquarie Group Foundation, the Cancer Research Leadership Forum is a voluntary coalition of major Australian charities, including Cancer Council Australia, formed in 2009 to fund cancer researchers and research projects, drive efficiencies across the sector and explore collaboration.
In 2011, almost $300 million was awarded to Australian cancer research projects by a range of funders from the public, private and community sectors.
Cancer Council CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said the plan was needed to reduce inefficiencies and gaps in the funding of cancer research.
“A research framework will provide a useful resource to help organisations set priorities for research funding,” Professor Olver said. “It is great to work with other cancer organisations towards a common goal.”
The Australian Research Council is seeking a new CEO, following the resignation of Professor Margaret Shiel in December last year to take up the position of University of Melbourne Provost.
Monash University has signed a new agreement with the University of Warwick in the UK to create an alliance between the two universities that aims to establish both as globally networked universities.
The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), a national coalition of health care groups, has released findings that disproves any correlation between wind power and decreased human health.