The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced $43 million in funding for 72 new projects.

The funding, under the ARC’s Linkage Project scheme for 2023 Round 2, aims to foster long-term strategic research partnerships between researchers and industry.

A total of 170 partner organisations are involved in these new projects, contributing an additional $61 million in cash and in-kind support. 

“This will help researchers, industry, and community organisations drive innovation and deliver research outcomes for the benefit of all Australians,” said ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Richard Johnson.

Among the funded projects, several aim to address critical national issues:

  1. Professor Karen Healy, The University of Queensland ($699,000): This project aims to transform Australian child protection systems by building national capabilities in peer-parent and family advocacy. It aligns with the Australian Child Protection Framework’s (2021–2031) vision for children to grow up safe, connected, and supported by their family, community, and culture.

  2. Professor Hua Wang, Victoria University ($542,152): This research addresses the growing carbon footprint of artificial intelligence (AI) and seeks to advance knowledge in green AI. Outcomes will promote sustainable AI technology and energy conservation, supporting Australia’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

  3. Professor Rhonda Craven, Australian Catholic University ($1,479,777): This project focuses on improving Indigenous students’ school attendance, engagement, and wellbeing. The research aims to contribute to closing the educational gap, enhancing teacher satisfaction and retention, and strengthening the socioeconomic fabric of Indigenous communities.

Additionally, a new independent ARC Board has been unveiled, which will play a crucial role in ensuring the integrity of the national research system. 

The Board’s focus will be on decisions that serve the national interest, addressing long-standing issues of political interference and delays that have previously hindered researchers’ work.

The new Board includes Professor Peter Shergold AC as Chair and Professor Susan Dodds FAHA as Deputy Chair. Other members are Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter, Professor Cindy Shannon AM, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, Emeritus Professor Margaret Harding, Mr Mark Stickells AM, and Ms Sally-Ann Williams FTSE, all of whom bring extensive research expertise.