$10.5 million ARC grants for innovative training centres

The University of Melbourne has been awarded $10.5 million over five years by the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme to establish three training centres.

Professor James McCluskey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said the centres would secure Australian industry’s competitive advantage, increase local employment, boost exports and meet the need for work-ready graduates who have skills aligned with industry requirements.

“Through these programs, we will train emerging industry professionals and enable industry with world leading research capacity in the medical technologies and pharmaceuticals and advanced manufacturing sectors,” Professor McCluskey said.

The three centres are:

  • The ARC Training Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, led by Professor Alastair Stewart from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, is a collaboration between University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of Western Australia and 15 partner organisations.  By training the next generation of biomedical researchers, the Centre aims to create and develop in Australia the skills and technology to generate early benefits from the transformative impacts that cell/organ-on-a chip technology will have on the medical technology and pharmaceutical industries.
  • The ARC Training Centre for the Chemical Industries, led by Dr Anastasios Polyzos from the Department of Chemistry, will support the development and enhancement of Australia’s chemical industry through a new sustainable industry-led research and training program.  This Centre brings together University of Melbourne, University of News South Wales, Swinburne University, chemical industry partner organisations and Chemistry Australia to cater for the chemical industry’s need for highly skilled workplace-ready graduates with experience in conducting industry-focused research.
  • The ARC Training Centre in Cognitive Computing for Medical Technologies will be headed by Professor Tim Baldwin from the Department of Computing and Information Systems. The Centre aims to build a workforce to develop and apply cognitive computing technologies in data-intensive medical contexts.  Collaboration between universities and industry to drive innovation includes partnerships with the University of Melbourne, Monash, RMIT and IBM Research Australia.

Joanna Batstone, Vice President and Lab Director of IBM Research, Australia said IBM believes that the next era of computing will be based on Cognitive Computing; systems that learn at scale, reason with purpose and interact with humans naturally.

“The explosion of heterogeneous data generated from medical devices, coupled with vast volumes of medical publications is driving the need to provide new artificial intelligence technologies that will fulfill the promise of evidence driven, personalized and precision medicine,” she said.