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New Centre to Focus on Transformative Meta-Optical Systems

Photo Credit: The Australian National University

The Australian Government awarded AU$34.9 million funding to The Australian National University (ANU), bringing it a step closer to achieving monitoring systems for safer driving, moving holograms on the phone as well as superfast light-based Wi-Fi.

According to a recent press release, the Minister for Education the Hon Dan Tehan MP announced the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems.

About the Centre

To be led by the University’s Professor Dragomir Neshev, the Centre will research the interaction of light with nano-materials tech, which is often thinner than a human hair.

According to the Professor, the new centre would drive research to develop smart and miniaturised optical devices that link the digital and physical worlds through light.

Because of this work, Australia will become a leader in the optical technologies for the fourth industrial revolution and will improve all the lives.

Australia optical systems will be created, which will empower the following applications:

  1. Autonomous vehicles
  2. Artificial intelligence
  3. Augmented reality
  4. Wearable sensors
  5. Remote sensing

Furthermore, it will lead to smaller, smarter, faster and cheaper wearable optical sensors to better monitor the health.

In addition, it will also produce holographic displays and augmented reality for more immersive and powerful education in the classrooms.

Add to that laser technology, which makes autonomous vehicles better at predicting and avoiding hazards.

More importantly, it will underpin light-based Wi-Fi, which is a thousand times faster than current technologies, to be used in mobile phones and laptops.

Benefits of Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre

  • The Centre will help boost Australia’s economy, according to the University’s Provost Professor Mike Calford, while thanking the Government and Minister Tehan for the significant funding.
  • This research centre will help revolutionise how light is used in ways that can have significant impacts for everyday Australians.
  • This includes less invasive medical diagnostic tools that scatter light through the body to detect disease.
  • It will also help strengthen Australia’s very own knowledge economy, setting up a global epicentre for light-based research and development that will develop the products of tomorrow, today.
  • Currently, light underpins industry worth approximately AU$ 1,000 billion to the world economy.
  • This transformational leap will make Australia’s economy stronger, enrich daily lives and create a safer environment that cannot be achieved with today’s technology.
  • The ARC Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems will be led by ANU and partner with the University of Melbourne, the University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, and the University of Western Australia, as well as industry and universities across six other countries.


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