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South Australia to boost 4 NCRIS facilities

An announcement of new funding will boost a research infrastructure based at the University of Adelaide, which covers research for a range of industrial sectors that include advanced manufacturing, defence, resources, biomedical and agriculture.

According to a recent press release, the South Australian Government has announced AU$ 6.77 million of funding to support four of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facilities based at the University of Adelaide.

This will be matched by AU$ 7.2 million funding from the University, and adds to AU$ 21.67 million NCRIS funding from the Australian Government for a total investment in research capability of AU$ 35.64 million.

The NCRIS facilities

The funding will support the following facilities:

  1. The Adelaide node of Microscopy Australia

The facility will receive AU$ 2,345,000 from the SA Government, with AU$ 7,639,000 worth of total investments.

The provision of internationally competitive scientific infrastructure for South Australia will include Ultra High resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy that will allow scientists and engineers to view materials at sub-nanometre scale.

Add to that a Cryo-Transmission Electron Microscope to better understand individual protein structures critical for crop, disease and medical research.

  1. The Plant Accelerator at Waite campus, part of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility

The facility will receive AU$ 2,250,000 from the SA Government, with AU$ 12,250,000 worth of total investments.

Data analytics and machine learning will be developed, in partnership with the University’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning.

This will maximise the benefits for the State’s grain industry from new-cutting edge technology, including a custom-built X-ray CT scanner.

The scanner will be for screening tens of thousands of wheat spikes for heat, drought and frost damage.

Add to that a bespoke ground-based vehicle with latest imaging technology, enabling novel, in-depth measurements of field trials.

  1. Optofab Adelaide, part of the Australian National Fabrication Facility

The facility will receive AU$ 1,576,000 from the SA Government, with AU$ 6,304,000 worth of total investments.

It will upgrade and extend its world-class optical fibre and glass fabrication facilities.

It will ensure Australia stays at the forefront of glass and fibre research, fabricating optical components and devices used for fundamental and applied research projects in defence, environmental monitoring, medical technology, mineral exploration and processing, agriculture, food and wine.

  1. The Adelaide node of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN)

The facility will receive AU$ 600,000 from the SA Government, with AU$ 9,450,000 worth of total investments.

It will serve as new storage infrastructure as part of the establishment of a sophisticated system for ecosystem surveillance, monitoring and prediction in Australia.

Investing in research is key

Such investment in research infrastructure is essential for the future of South Australia and is key to attracting and developing new industry and global partners for the State.

This investment in research capability will directly support many of the University’s industry engagement priorities, which include defence; energy, mining and resources; health and biotechnology; and agrifood and wine, as well as the focus on environmental sustainability.

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