Macquarie University researchers have been awarded $1.4 million across three new ARC Linkage Projects, announced by The Hon Alan Tudge MP this week.
The successful projects will connect Macquarie research expertise with industry and community partners to work on innovative solutions in biodiversity, sustainable lending, and laser technology for communications and defence.
Professor Rich Mildren from the Department of Physics and Astronomy will lead a $663,541 project to develop advanced laser technology to improve the speed and quality of information transfer between earth and space. The team, which also includes Professor David Spence and Professor Jon Lawrence, will partner with EOS Space Systems Ltd to develop the technology which has potential applications in space situational awareness, space debris management and satellite communications, as well as benefits to astronomy and defence.
A project harnessing Indigenous knowledge to develop Australia’s first cross-cultural species conservation strategy was awarded $516,968 to be led by Dr Emilie Ens from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. In partnership with the Laynhapuy Indigenous Protected Area and one of Australia’s strongest Aboriginal cultural groups, the Yolngu, this project will record endangered Indigenous knowledge of fauna and generate new biocultural solutions to address both species and cultural loss.
Professor Tom Smith from the Department of Applied Finance will lead a project with Professor Martina Linnenluecke, Associate Professor Yin Liao and Dr Di Bu to explore how Australia’s Fintech lending firms could use individuals’ carbon footprints in their lending decisions. The project received $261,300 to examine how sustainability-oriented lending platforms could promote pro-environmental behaviour and expedite the societal transformation towards a low-carbon economy, while establishing sustainable FinTech standards for policymakers.
Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said the funding will strengthen Macquarie’s collaborative relationships with industry to respond to global challenges.
“The newly funded Linkage Projects reflect the breadth of Macquarie’s research excellence and deep industry and community connections, from recording Indigenous knowledge or nudging the Fintech sector to address environmental concerns, to developing cutting-edge laser optics technology,” said Professor Pretorius.
“By partnering with industry and community organisations, our world-class researchers are able to unlock new knowledge and converge on solutions to complex issues.”