Australian universities receive ARC funding to boost infrastructure research capabilities

Image credit: RMIT University 

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has unveiled $39 million in research funding that would provide Australian researchers with the means to acquire key research equipment and infrastructure. 

Awarded under the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment, and Facilities (LIEF) scheme, the funding would allow researchers in 21 universities to undertake cutting-edge basic and applied research and training. 

The LIEF scheme also places heavy emphasis on collaboration and cooperative initiatives in order to provide Australian researchers with access to expensive facilities within the country and abroad. 

 “This funding ensures Australian scientists have access to world-class infrastructure to support their cutting-edge research across a wide range of disciplines,” said Judi Zielke, ARC’s CEO. 

RMIT University will receive $450,000 in funding to establish a new generation metal 3D printing facility that would allow for a faster, more cost-effective, and sustainable manufacturing of complex metal parts. 

RMIT’s project seeks to help the Australian defence, space, aerospace, biomedical, and clean energy industries further develop cost-effective, low-carbon emission products. 

The University of New South Wales is also among the grant’s recipients, with its bioprinting and advanced visualisation project for novel 3D model systems. The university will receive $1 million 

The infrastructure will leverage Australian-made bioprinting machinery to replicate organs and tissues and access a new microscope to study the cells within 3D structures. The models are intended to minimise the use of animals in research and enable the study of cell and tissue function under more “life-like conditions.” 

Meanwhile, the Australian National University will receive $400,000 to establish a National Facility for Electricity Grid Security and Resilience Research. The facility is aimed at enabling large-scale industrial control systems to be better engineered for improved robustness and resilience and reduce the risk of power blackouts caused by cybersecurity threats.