When researchers and businesses decide to collaborate, they want to get working as soon as possible. However, lengthy grant decision processes can slow down or in some cases stop fruitful partnerships. Under the current annual selection for Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects grants, the partners can wait up to nine months from application to announcement of funding outcomes.

Shifting to continuous rounds will allow both researchers and industry partners to take greater advantage of opportunities for collaboration faster and will encourage more partnerships between universities and business.

What is changing?

Collaboration between researchers and business helps generate more products and services to benefit the business, the economy and broader society. The ARC Linkage Projects scheme:

  • Will be open to continuous applications, allowing both researchers and industry partners to take greater advantage of opportunities for collaboration faster, and encourage more partnerships between universities and business
  • Will continue to fund through the ARC the highest quality applications taking into consideration the anticipated benefit of the research.

When is it happening?

The Australian Research Council (ARC) is progressing well with the implementation of a continuous application process for the Linkage Projects scheme from 1 July 2016.  The ARC is very keen to ensure that there is a smooth transition from the current round of Linkage Projects, which is currently under assessment, to the new continuous applications model.  The ARC is finalising plans for consultation with industry and research institutions so that the stakeholder views are taken into account in the final delivery of the Linkage Projects scheme. The ARC anticipates that it will commence consultation in March.

What to do

Turning tyres into steel

Supported by an ARC Linkage Projects grant, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and OneSteel teamed up to use a polymer technology to recycle rubber tyres in steelmaking, enabling the partial replacement of coal and coke. This revolutionary approach has already diverted more than two million car tyres from landfill and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Originally supported by an ARC Discovery Projects grant for basic research, ARC Laureate Fellow, UNSW Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, invented a new polymer technology — an invention that won her an Australian Museum Eureka Prize.

Professor Sahajwalla partnered with OneSteel on an ARC Linkage Projects grant to translate this invention into a practical use, including carrying out polymer injection technology trials in steel plants across Australia and Thailand.

UNSW has signed an agreement with OneSteel – Australia’s largest manufacturer of steel long products – which allows OneSteel to sublicense this unique technology around the world.

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Information courtesy http://www.innovation.gov.au/