UniSQ awarded more than $1m for ARC Linkage Projects

Grants for industry collaboration will fund ground-breaking research in agriculture and engineering

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded two University of Southern Queensland research grants totalling more than $1 million in the latest round of Linkage Projects.

The funding will support projects from developing advanced fire-retardant composite resins for manufacturing bushfire-safe wind farm infrastructures to developing barley varieties with enhanced protection against fungal diseases.

The ARC Linkage Program promotes national and international long-term strategic research partnerships between researchers and business, industry, community organisations and other publicly funded research agencies.

University of Southern Queensland Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor John Bell congratulated the lead researchers and their teams on being awarded these highly-advanced projects.

“The University of Southern Queensland has shown once again that we are leaders in collaborative research,” Professor Bell said.

“The transferral of research skills, knowledge and ideas is the key to transforming industry and strengthening Australia’s economy.

“The University is world leading in agriculture, crop health and advanced fibre composites, highlighted in the successful grants.”

  • Associate Professor Anke Martin has received $586,728. This project places Australian barley breeders at the forefront of disease resistance by providing them with novel tools to develop varieties with enhanced protection against fungal diseases. The aims are to produce fungal strains with multiple virulence genes for fast and cost-effective testing of barley lines, untangle the fungal/host gene interaction for resistance breeding and identify new sources of resistance. The outcomes will lead to the commercialisation by Australian breeding companies of barley varieties with durable fungal resistance. This will benefit the Australian economy by providing sustainability and protection for barley breeding, thereby significantly reducing crop losses for this important global agricultural commodity.
  • Professor Pingan Song has received $440,593. This project aims to develop advanced fire-retardant composite resins for manufacturing bushfire-safe wind farm infrastructures. The innovation of the project is the development of a new class of low-cost, novel, highly effective fire retardants and their value-added fire-retardant composite resins with well-preserved physical properties. This will be achieved by understanding the composition-property relationship of fire retardants and optimising their synthetic parameters. The project will help position Australia’s advanced composite manufacturing at the forefront of technology. It will also accelerate Australia’s energy transition to renewables by enabling bushfire-safe wind farm infrastructure.

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