30 June 2014

wheat close upThe Australian Research Council (ARC) has granted the University of South Australia more than $2 million under its Linkage Grants scheme to match more than $3.3 million in industry investment to tackle real world problems.

Seven key projects announced this week will look at a range of issues from finding better solutions for drug delivery at the site of human infections, to improved techniques for treating and stabilising mine wastes and research focussed on improving educational outcomes for young refugees.

A leading project granted $400,000 from the ARC will help to better identify wheat varieties that can retain good yields in stressful conditions.

Led by UniSA’s Professor in Applied Mathematics and Director of the Phonemics and Bioinformatics Research Centre, Stan Miklavcic, the research will monitor and profile plant growth performance in drought and nutrient deficient environments helping to characterise and select better varieties of wheat for agricultural production.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says despite an increasingly competitive market for government research grants, UniSA researchers continue to successfully partner with industry to progress important research.

“If people wonder why university research is important they only need look at the results of the Linkage Grant funding because it is there that you see the role that our researchers play in improving lives and industries locally and globally,” Prof Lloyd says.

“Within our own group of successful UniSA projects we have research that helps to stop the ravages of infection, minimises the impact of mining on our soils and water, improves global communications through better satellite transmission systems, measures the risks of overtraining for elite athletes, ensures refugees are better adapted to their new county through education, and improves the performance of fire retardants in the construction industry.

“I see it as a measure of our important role in society that industry, business, government and agency collaborators want to partner with us to develop solutions, and that is a credit to them and to our researchers.”

Successful projects

  • Drug targeting to immune cells using modified inulin particles, led by Dr Thomas G Barclay
  • Using heart rate kinetics during the rest-exercise transition to track changes in performance in athletes, led by Prof Jon Buckley
  • Improving downlinks for future Earth Observation Satellites, led by Prof Bill Cowley
  • Short and long-term mitigation strategies for acid and metalliferous drainage control from iron ore mine wastes, led by Prof Andrea Gerson
  • The development of strong and durable flame-retarding composites by multiscale encapsulation and reinforcement, led by Dr Jun Ma
  • Field and quasi-field phenotyping for the quantitative characterisation of wheat yield under stress, led by Prof Stan Miklavcic
  • Pathways to active citizenship for refugee youth and their transition from school to further education, training and employment, led by Dr Tahereh Ziaian 

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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