The Liberal Nationals Government is investing nearly $20 million to increase research capacity at regional universities and grow regional economies.
The six university-led projects, funded through the Regional Research Collaboration (RRC) Program, will link universities with local businesses to solve regional and global challenges in areas including energy, agriculture and mental health.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said each university would lead a project in collaboration with other universities and local industry partners.
“We want our world-class research to be at the forefront of our economic and social success and we want regional universities to be a big part of that,” Minister Tudge said.
“By linking universities with local businesses we increase the opportunity for findings to be translated into practical solutions that could then be commercialised, with benefits for the university, businesses and local jobs.
“I want to see more world-changing new ideas and revolutionary products developed right in our own backyard in regional Australia.”
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Senator Bridget McKenzie said regional Australia is primed to lead our economic recovery post COVID.
“Australia’s regional and remote centres of excellence are already generating ground-breaking solutions to real world problems. It's essential they’re supported to deepen these communities of expertise,” Senator McKenzie said.
“This program is another way the Government is supporting the regions to realise their full potential and create more resilient local economies and communities.”
The successful recipients are:
- Federation University Australia to fund the establishment of the Research Centre for New Energy Transition ($2.4 million);
- Central Queensland University to develop hydrogen applications for regional industries ($2.1 million);
- University of Tasmania to boost research capability to develop value-added products for the food and wood industries in regional areas ($4.0 million);
- Charles Darwin University to fund the Research Institute for Northern Agriculture and Drought Resilience ($4.1 million);
- University of New England to develop the Regional Australia Mental Health Research and Training Institute ($3.7 million); and
- Charles Sturt University to fund the Next Generation Water Engineering and River Management Hub ($3.6 million).
The RRC Program is funded as part of the Job-ready Graduates program.
This is the first round of funding the Commonwealth is investing as part of the $48.8 million RRC Program over the next four years.
It supports the Australian Government’s mission to strengthen the regional and remote tertiary education sector in response to the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (the Napthine Review).