Real-world problems in infrastructure, health and cybersecurity will be tackled by Australia’s brightest minds after the Turnbull Government today announced funding for 258 new research projects.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had committed $163 million to researchers across the country from 31 universities to collaborate with industry and business and to address pressing issues as diverse as identity theft, different disease strains and farming crop yields.

Minister Birmingham said the funding was another example of the Turnbull Government’s work to support innovation in Australia and to ensure it was targeted at those things that make a difference to Australia and generate meaningful social and economic benefits.

“This $163 million Turnbull Government commitment to the latest round of research grants will improve the lives of everyday Australians through encouraging research that will be able to partner with industry and create real-world benefits,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The impacts and benefits from these 258 research projects will be felt in hospitals and schools, on farms and in homes across the country.”

Minister Birmingham said the latest round of grants, funded through the Australian Research Council (ARC), includes:

  • 16 new Fellowships worth $44.1m under the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme
  • 231 new research projects worth $81.2m under the Linkage Projects scheme
  • 5 new hubs worth $15.7m under the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme
  • 6 new centres worth $22m under the Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme.

“The new research projects under the Linkage Projects scheme are also supported by 477 partner organisations where researchers team up with businesses and corporate Australia, think-tanks and other institutions to deliver breakthroughs that solve real-world problems,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Those partners have pledged support — cash and in-kind— of $162.9 million. That represents $2.01 for every dollar from the Commonwealth and highlights the value of research done at Australian universities and labs.

“The 16 Laureate Fellows we’ve appointed and supported include two Australians returning from overseas and four international researchers, all bringing some of the world’s leading thinking to our shores. We must continue to encourage not only the brightest Australian minds to explore opportunities here, but also to attract the best from overseas to share their knowledge in Australia.

“We know the important value of the Future Fellowships scheme but the previous Labor government left a funding cliff for this vital research program. The Coalition is committed to supporting our world class researchers.

“Our new Research Hubs and Training Centres are poised to be incubators for the next generations of researchers who will learn to view their research and work from the perspective of its end-users – the Australian public and industries.

“That level of collaboration with industry will ensure research is more responsive to the needs and priorities of our society and economy, a key concept of the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.”