More than $1.3 million awarded to support research linking Monash and industry

A project investigating zero carbon energy storage and another looking at ways to protect Australia’s billion dollar wine industry are among Monash University initiatives receiving Linkage grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC).  

Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced three Monash research projects will receive more than $1.3 million in ARC Linkage grants, to be matched by industry partners.

The Linkage program promotes research partnerships between researchers and business, industry, community organisations and other publicly funded research agencies. By supporting the development of partnerships, the ARC encourages the transfer of skills, knowledge and ideas as a basis for securing commercial and other benefits of research.

The funded projects are:

Investigating new materials for zero carbon energy storage

Professor Douglas MacFarlane leads a project to develop new materials to advance the technology of thermal energy storage. New and inexpensive ways of storing renewable energy are urgently required. The project will focus on new materials that store thermal energy in the temperature range between 100 - 220C that is optimal for distributed storage of solar and wind energy. Working with commercial partner Energy Storage P/L, the project hopes to lead to practical technology for households and industry to support storage of renewable, zero carbon energy sources.

Clarifying the legal basis for protecting geographical indications for wines

Professor Mark Davison leads a project to clarify the basis for protecting geographical indications for wines in trade agreements and domestic legal systems. The project expects to generate new knowledge on the criteria to establish a geographical indication. Existing law risks misuse of this mechanism to unjustifiably protect domestic markets; the European Union is seeking protection for what appear to be grape varieties rather than geographical indications. Expected outcomes include evidence-based recommendations to government and industry. Project outcomes should benefit Australian economic interests by enhancing Australia’s ability to resist spurious geographical indication claims. Read more about the project and how it relates to Processo here.

Investigating nutrient runoff to support clean water and land management

Professor Perran Cook leads a projectto better understand the factors controlling nutrient retention and removal within agricultural catchments and how climate and land use change will affect this. This new knowledge will be captured in cutting edge modelling that will improve land management practices, leading to reduced nutrient loads and improved water quality in receiving waters such as the Gippsland Lakes.

Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Marc Parlange, said the results were evidence of the strength of the University’s record for enterprise and innovation.

“With its unrivalled record of collaboration with industry partners to pioneer discoveries and advance new technology, Monash is consistently recognised as Australia’s most innovative university,” he said.

“The latest ARC Linkage outcomes demonstrate Monash researchers are building on that record even further. My warmest congratulations to everyone who has been successful this funding round.”

To view all approved projects, please visit: rms.arc.gov.au/RMS/Report/Download/Report/a3f6be6e-33f7-4fb5-98a6-7526aaa184cf/209