Adelaide to be world photonics leader thanks to $28 million funding

December 12, 2008

The University of Adelaide is poised to become a world leader in photonics and advanced sensing technologies thanks to a major funding injection of $28.8 million from the Australian Government.

The government has today announced the funding to help establish a new Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing at the University of Adelaide from next year.

The Federal funding will enable new, specialized laboratories to be built at the University's North Terrace Campus. Researchers from a wide range of fields will use the world-class facilities to develop breakthroughs in areas such as physics, chemistry, biology and environmental science.

The University of Adelaide will contribute $1.3 million to the construction of the new facilities, with a further $2.5 million from partner institutions.

The Institute will be led by Professor Tanya Monro, Federation Fellow in the School of Chemistry & Physics.

Professor Monro says the new Institute aims to become the international leader in developing new technologies that underpin health, the environment, industrial processes and defense systems. This will be done by bringing together leading research in optical fibers, lasers, luminescence, chemistry, proteomics and virology.

"I'm thrilled that the Federal Government has provided significant support for an area of research that has the potential to benefit almost every aspect of our lives," says Professor Monro, who was recently named Australia's Physical Scientist of the Year in the Prime Minister's 2008 Science Prizes.

"This new Institute builds on the facilities and expertise already developed at the University of Adelaide over the past four years, and it will become a substantial addition to Australia's research and development capability.

"This Institute will be unrivaled in the world in the quality of its facilities, and it will attract some of Australia's and the world's best and brightest minds. We expect the Institute to earn around $78 million in research income by the year 2020," she says.

"What sets this institute apart is that we have a vision to bring together scientists from different areas to focus on some of the big problems. This transdisciplinary approach to research will have a real impact by focusing research on the knowledge gaps between the traditional scientific disciplines, by stimulating the creation of new industries, and by inspiring a new generation of scientists to be engaged in solving real-world problems."

The University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha, says: "Today's funding announcement is further recognition of the excellence in research being conducted by Professor Monro and her colleagues, and the importance of the University's relationship with the Defense Science Technology Organization (DSTO) and the State.

"This is fantastic science that has huge potential for social and economic benefits."
-end-


University of Adelaide

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