UNSW researchers have been awarded $2.7 million in the latest round of federal government funding for industry-linked research projects, outperforming other universities in the State.

UNSW ranked third nationally in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme, with nine grants covering research projects in fields ranging from workplace fraud to improving the accuracy of face identification and promoting sexual health and safety to users of dating apps.

Under the Linkage Projects scheme, industry partners make a significant cash and/or in-kind contribution to their projects. UNSW will receive $4.5 million (cash and in-kind) from its partner organisations over the life of the nine successful projects.

Earlier this year, Federal Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said of the Linkage Projects scheme: “When researchers and businesses come to the government with strong proposals that will clearly deliver real benefits for industry and Australians, we want to be able to green light them as quickly as possible.” 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nicholas Fisk congratulated the grant recipients: “This is a strong result for UNSW, and validates our capacity to engage and collaborate with industry. These projects highlight the depth of our research talent and our researchers’ ability to find solutions to real-world problems. 

"This is an exciting time for universities to exploit interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships, and demonstrate their pivotal influence on wider society," Professor Fisk said.

“Application numbers are perhaps understandably down in this first year of the ARC’s new continuous application process, but researchers will be aware of the need for timely submission under this scheme in order to forge much needed industry links.”

The successful UNSW projects include:

  • $510,000 to a team led by Dr David White, from the School of Psychology, to improve the accuracy of face identification at a system level.
  • $139,930 to a team led by Associate Professor Kath Albury, from the School of the Arts & Media, to build the foundation for health promotion campaigns targeting Australian users of dating apps.
  • $126,728 to a team led by Professor Clinton Free, from the School of Accounting, to develop knowledge on how serious workplace fraud is sustained by offenders and responded to by organisations.
  • $285,000 to a team led by Associate Professor Wei Zhang, from the School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, to design efficient signal transmission techniques for large scale antenna wireless systems that can significantly improve network capacity and radio spectrum efficiency.
  • $365,000 for Dr Anita Ho-Baillie, from the School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering, to develop a glazing system for buildings with high thermal insulation to reduce heat gain and loss by season and generate electricity. 

UNSW Engineering projects performed particularly well in the latest round, picking up five of the University’s nine successful grants.

The ARC awarded a total of $22.2 million to 61 new collaborative research projects. These projects will be supported by 143 partner organisations who, in addition to ARC funding, will provide a further $37 million in cash and in-kind over the duration of the projects.

UNSW Media