Creating a new laser system for satellite tracking and mitigating the impacts of space debris, investigating how smartphones can assist people with a disability to navigate essential services, and developing high-performance batteries for electric vehicles are among 989 new research projects that will receive funding from the Turnbull Government.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham today announced the $416.6 million in funding as part of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) National Competitive Grants Programme.

The schemes for which projects have received funding include:

• Discovery Projects for funding commencing in 2017—$234.7 million for 630 projects
• Discovery Indigenous for funding commencing in 2017—$4.6 million for 11 projects
• Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2017—$71.7 million for 200 projects
• Future Fellowships for funding commencing in 2016—$77.0 million for 100 projects.
• Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities for funding commencing in 2017—$28.6 million for 48 projects

Minister Birmingham said the funding announced today was a crucial investment in growing a smart Australia, driving innovation and delivering real outcomes that benefit all Australians.

“This funding represents a significant investment in a wide variety of fundamental and applied research projects, growing Australia’s research capacity and infrastructure, and supporting the next generation of researchers,” Minister Birmingham said.

Highlights include:
• $117,000 to a Discovery Projects researcher at Queensland University of Technology, who will develop best practice solutions to improve the living environment of retirement villages and the quality of life for ageing Australians.
• $187,222 for a Discovery Projects researcher at Curtin University to understand how people with a disability use smartphones to navigate the urban environment, for improving access to public space and essential services.
• $652,000 for a Future Fellow at The University of Wollongong to develop innovative technologies for high-performance lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic devices, including electric vehicles.
• $372,000 to an Early Career Researcher at The University of Adelaide to discover the genes for developing crops with enhanced salt tolerance.
• $502,453 for infrastructure at The Australian National University to create a laser system for the first laser guide star for use in astronomy, satellite tracking and mitigation of the threat of space debris.

“The Turnbull Government is investing record amounts in supporting our best and brightest fellowship researchers and is correcting the funding cliff left by Labor,” Minister Birmingham said.

A snapshot with details of the funding outcomes is available here.

For more information about the funding outcomes, including statistics and full project details please visit the ARC website or view the ARC media announcement kit.