$249m program to boost R&D partnerships

Up to 20 research hubs will be set up nationwide as part of a new $249 million research program, which will also see the establishment of up to 50 research training centres for PhD students.

 

The Industrial Transformation Research Program, announced today by the Federal Government, is a $249 million program aimed at strengthening R&D partnerships between universities and business.

 

The package consists of three key measures:

  • New research hubs, enabling researchers and industry representatives to design and engineer commercially and technically viable solutions to “industrial problems”.

The program will focus on research areas such as engineering, materials science and nanotechnology, communications, chemical engineering and biotechnology.

  • New research training centres, providing industrial doctoral and postdoctoral training for up to 600 PhD students each year.
  • More than 1,000 engineering cadetships over the next four years, giving students the necessary work experience to kick-start their careers in sectors such as manufacturing.

 A spokesperson for the Australian Research Council says the government is already working “shoulder to shoulder” with industries and researchers to encourage and support R&D.

 

“Australia is endowed with top quality researchers and top quality industry – this new alliance bringing the two together just makes good sense,” the spokesperson says.

 

“Australia’s research effort will be better aligned with the needs of… industry.”

 

Research hubs

 

Up to 20 research hubs will be established nationwide with initial funding for up to four years. The government will invest up to $1 million per year in each hub, matched by industry partners.

 

“These research hubs will encourage R&D projects that could help solve the big problems facing our industries today. Managers, researchers and industry workers will work together.”

 

“This funding term gives our researchers and industry partners the flexibility to undertake comprehensive research programs… as well as short-term projects.”

 

Training centres

 

Up to 50 training centres will be established nationwide. Around 20 of the centres will include training in social impact, inclusion, and industrial and community transformation.

 

Up to $1 million per year will be provided for each centre for up to three years. The 50 centres will be selected over a five-year period. 

 

As part of this component, the government will award up to 600 industrial PhDs to embed students in industry settings, directly harnessing research capability to address industry needs.

 

“These training centres will foster close partnerships between university-based researchers and the industry members who will use the research outcomes.”

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