Linkage Projects Support Industry Partnerships


University of Adelaide researchers will share in almost $2 million through the latest round of the Australian Research Council Linkage Projects scheme, which is designed to foster strategic research partnerships.

The scheme encourages the transfer of skills, knowledge and ideas between researchers and partner organisations.

University of Adelaide projects funded by the scheme include the development of rapid-drying barley and the analysis of data around mushroom cultivation to aid precision agriculture.

Associate Professor Damien Fordham, Dr Jamie Wood, Associate Professor Jeremy Austin, Dr Elizabeth Reed and Professor Kristofer Helgen received $540,500 to use DNA technologies to help prevent the extinctions of threatened.

The project will combine ancient DNA extracted from sediment and bulk-bone deposits with ecological models to reconstruct spatial patterns of mammals and plants across Australian landscapes, providing the geographic scales and three-dimensional resolutions needed for evidence-based ecological restoration of threatened mammals.

It is also supported by Bush Heritage Australia, World Wildlife Fund for Nature Australia, Australian Museum, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

A total of $531,777 was awarded to Professor Matthew Tucker, Dr Tristan Coram and Dr Douglas Stewart as they work to develop a rapid-drying barley for sustainable malting, with the support of Coopers Brewery and Australian Grain Technologies.

Barley is germinated and then dried as part of traditional malting processes, which is both resource-intensive and affected by rising energy costs. The project aims to identify natural genetic variations that require less energy to process.

A Linkage project led by Professor Scott Smith, Dr T Tafsirojjaman, Nicholas Wotton and Lachlan Nicol will develop fibre-reinforced polymer-based structural panels incorporating recycled plastic composite is the focus.

The project, which received $479,778, will identify the manufacturing processes to innovate RPC as a construction material and create change in construction technology and sustainable infrastructure and has been supported by Sustainable Infrastructure Systems.

Dr Wei Zhang, Professor Michael Sheng, Dr Weitong Chen, Associate Professor Ni Yang, Dr Queen Nguyen and Yantao Zhang were awarded $320,562 for their project with Clever Mushrooms, Pixelforce Systems and Hokken Co, which aims to develop innovative models and algorithms to monitor and understand the automated greenhouse mushroom cultivation environment.

The project will explore the interplays among different data modalities and structures to provide practical approaches and generate new knowledge for precision agriculture.

See more information on the 2023 Round 2 ARC Linkage Grants here.

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