Southern Cross University lab manager Graham Lancaster working on a similar ICPMS machine that will be added to the lab thanks to a new grant awarded to the university.
Southern Cross University lab manager Graham Lancaster working on a similar ICPMS machine that will be added to the lab thanks to a new grant awarded to the university.

$1.3m investment to help foster new research at SCU

NEW research facilities worth more than $1.3 million will be built at Southern Cross University’s Lismore and Coffs Harbour campuses, thanks to new Federal Government funding.

SCU’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker, said it was an “outstanding outcome” for global research in regional Australia.

“Our research can be the equal of Berlin or anywhere in the world,” he said.

“The result for Southern Cross in this round of funding ranks us fifth in the nation in terms of success in the grants process.

“We are so proud of the calibre of our researchers and the quality of their work.”

Page MP Kevin Hogan said the new facilities would help researchers in the fields of geoscience and biodiversity.

“This infrastructure will allow Australian researchers to better understand the workings of our landscapes and ecosystems and how we will face future challenges on our resources,” he said.

The world-leading environmental research facilities will include:

$580,000 to establish a unique facility that can conduct tandem trace element and isotope analysis

$310,000 to create a facility for 4-D habitat modelling that will help researchers measure changes in natural habitats and ecosystems over time

$430,000 to build a custom-made portable spectrometer to measure biogenic volatile organic compounds in coastal waters.

Researchers will also use the latest drone and underwater image capture equipment to measure changes in marine habitats over time to enhance research into marine biodiversity.

Education Minister Dan Tehan said the government was investing in infrastructure to enable world-leading research.

“The research done by our universities can lead to the development of new products and innovations that drive job growth, business opportunities and productivity gains,” he said.

He added that research collaborations that were developed through these projects will strengthen research networks throughout Australia and internationally.

“That is why our government is making a significant investment in Australia’s leading-edge research infrastructure,” Mr Tehan said.

The government is providing $30.7 million to fund 47 new research projects through the Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme.