More than $333 million will support 859 Australian Research Council (ARC) projects on everything from developing a miniaturised cochlear implant to more secure cloud data to new ways to support small businesses.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said the university research projects were awarded after a highly competitive, peer-reviewed process.
“The public investment we make today will make the difference to tomorrow’s prosperity. These kinds of basic and applied research projects are the springboards to new knowledge, new products and new industries,” Ms Robinson said.
“The next big ideas, breakthroughs and innovations get their start in the research projects that we invest in today. They will help us solve some of our biggest medical, environmental and social challenges,” she said.
Ms Robinson noted that the value of all knowledge generated by university research was estimated at $160 billion in 2014 – equivalent to almost 10 per cent of Australia’s GDP.
“Investing in university research has a clear return on investment. It is no coincidence that smart nations across the world are devoting resources to their research capability to get the edge over their global competitors,” she said.
The ARC funding announced today also provides vital support for early-career researchers, Indigenous researchers, and research infrastructure and equipment.