The Marshall Government is investing $19.6 million through the State Budget in six world class research institutes through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni joined with SA’s university leaders and research community today at the Australian Wine Research Institute at Urrbrae, and said the overall investment over six years would enable infrastructure upgrades and the purchasing of new equipment as well as supporting the creation of 25.3 full time equivalent jobs.

“This co-investment boosts the amount of NCRIS funding to $82.1 million – including $47.1 million from the Commonwealth Government and $15.4 million from the research institutions,” Minister Pisoni said.

“The funding means there will be strong, long-term industry and research partnerships, both nationally and internationally, providing a conduit for knowledge to support industry in delivering future jobs, economic growth and economic diversity.

“This will significantly build our state’s competitiveness in attracting additional funding from the Commonwealth Government’s major research funding programs, and it will help us to continue to attract, develop, grow and export a highly skilled workforce, including the next generation of researchers.”

The six NCRIS facilities cover the following areas of research and innovation:

  • Australian National Fabrication Facility – micro and nano fabrication facilities that produce high technology components and devices particularly in the advanced manufacturing for example in mining, defence and space
  • Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (The Plant Accelerator) – a high technology glass house facility measuring plant growth and attributes for developing new and innovative crops and healthier food
  • Bioplatforms Australia – provides state-of-the-art biomolecular platform capabilities which are necessary for health, agriculture and the wine industry
  • Microscopy Australia – undertakes microscopy and microanalytical research to support medicine, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, geology and materials science
  • National Imaging Facility – provides a range of leading-edge imaging instrumentation and expertise that underpins development of new health products
  • Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network – provides Australian land observations to measure changes in Australia’s land-based ecosystem biodiversity that is essential in protecting and managing Australia’s environment.

The Integrated Marine Observing System, which undertakes systematic and sustained observing of Australia’s vast and valuable marine estate, will receive in-kind commitment to support current staff employed.

Dr Bettina Berger, Scientific Director at The Plant Accelerator, University of Adelaide, said the investment in the Adelaide node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility will lift the agricultural sector, generating new value and insights from the complex data generated by the facility’s world-leading technology.

“We have collaborated with international partners on the development of two new cutting-edge pieces of infrastructure, which will enable us to lead the way in developing data analytics and machine learning, in partnership with the University’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning,” Dr Berger said.

“This will ensure the vast amounts of data collected by the new equipment can be turned into outcomes for the SA grains industry.”

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