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$234.7 million for research discoveries

Developing high-speed optical wireless technology, helping to better understand speech and language difficulties in children, and understanding use of smartphones by people with disabilities for navigating essential services will be the focus of some of the outstanding research projects funded by the Australian Government.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (ARC), Ms Leanne Harvey, has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, of $234.7 million for 630 projects funded through the ARC Discovery Projects scheme.

“The Discovery Projects scheme provides funding to support excellent basic and applied research projects to be undertaken by individual researchers or research teams,” Ms Harvey said.

Some of the Discovery Projects that will commence in 2017 include:

  • $376,000 for a project led by Professor Ampalavanapillai Nirmalathas at The University of Melbourne to improve the coverage, mobile access, miniaturisation, bandwidth and networking of optical wireless systems.
  • $338,000 for research led by Associate Professor Blake Johnson at Macquarie University to understand how children acquire language by studying speech production in the developing brain, for insights into speech and language problems that affect health and quality of life.
  • $187,222 for research led by Dr Kathleen Ellis at Curtin University of Technology to understand how people with a disability use smartphones to navigate the urban environment, for improving access to public space and essential services.
  • $117,000 for a project led by Dr Bo Xia at Queensland University of Technology to develop best practice solutions to improve the living environment of retirement villages and the quality of life for ageing Australians.
  • $297,500 for a project led by Associate Prof Menna Jones at the University of Tasmania to investigate approaches for suppressing invasive prey and predators that could be scaled up to conserve threatened native wildlife in unfenced landscapes.

This announcement of $234.7 million for Discovery Projects is part of the ARC Major Grants announcement totalling $416.6 million for 989 research projects.

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