Manufacturing, transport are major challenges to be studied

Manufacturing, transport are major challenges to be studied

UNSW Sydney has announced new institutes to address humanity’s most pressing challenges, in which the university will invest up to $200m in new and emerging areas.

UNSW Sydney has established four new institutes focused on finding solutions to major scientific and social challenges confronting society through cross-disciplinary research.

The UNSW Futures Institutes are part of the UNSW Futures initiative, a major component of the university’s 2025 Strategy. UNSW Futures provides a framework for facilitating cross-faculty and interdisciplinary work, driving innovative approaches to research, and addressing scientific and social challenges.

As part of the initiative, UNSW will invest up to $200m in new and emerging areas from across faculties. These virtual institutes will receive core funding to support operations, seed-funding for new research projects, and a commitment of funding for Strategic Hires and Retention Program (SHARP) employees.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Nicholas Fisk announced the first four futures institutes last week. The first futures institutes are:

  • UNSW Ageing Futures Institute: enabling optimal ageing for individuals and society – led by Professor Kaarin Anstey.
  • UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute: inventing technologies to decode individual cell DNA, chromatin, RNA, and protein outputs that will be used for precise diagnosis and precision treatment of human disease – led by Professor Chris Goodnow.
  • UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute: future-proofing global energy systems to ensure reliable, secure, affordable, sustainable energy supply – led by Professor Joe Dong.
  • UNSW Materials & Manufacturing Futures Institute: transforming the future of materials and manufacturing research in energy, transport, information technology, and healthcare – initially led by Professor Sean Li pending a definitive appointment.

The university will formally launch the institutes at an event on Wednesday 24 October from 4 – 6pm in John Niland Scientia Building, Leighton Hall. The event will include a brief presentation and panel discussion, followed by an opportunity for networking with futures institute directors and lead investigators.

Professor Fisk said these institutes position UNSW as a big picture visionary university of the future.

“The institutes will enhance UNSW’s focus on innovative interdisciplinary and cross-faculty research that impacts society and policy,” said Professor Fisk. “The institutes build on our existing strengths and will act as a drawcard for international recruitment, government and industry links, while harnessing academic excellence to address humanity’s major challenges.”

A second round of UNSW Futures Institutes applications will open in late 2019.

 

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