Senator Kim Carr visits UWS to meet researchers

Date: 09/03/2009

Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, had a chance to see first-hand how the University of Western Sydney's high performing research centres are tackling Australia's most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges when he visited the Parramatta Campus recently.

As part of his visit, Senator Carr had the opportunity to learn more about the University's innovative and wide-ranging research program - hearing presentations from top UWS researchers in areas such as climate change, medicine and population health, urban geography, perception and cognition research, and industry and innovation studies.

UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janice Reid, says the University welcomed Senator Carr, and was delighted to be able to showcase the best of its research and demonstrate its contribution to innovation and how it's making a difference in the lives of so many Australians - both locally and nationally.

"This is a critical time for Australia's universities. The reviews of higher education and the national innovation landscape currently underway will provide a much-needed boost to national productivity, as well as a chance for Australian higher education to regain its position on the world stage," Professor Reid says.

"As one of Australia's most dynamic universities, UWS is well placed to be at the forefront of this change. The University is located in the heart of one of Australia's fastest growing regions, Greater Western Sydney - home to over 1.8 million people, and one of the country's most important economic powerhouses, with an $80 billion economy that is the third largest in Australia.

"After 20 years of development, UWS is a major metropolitan research-led institution with a growing reputation and standing for its research.

"As a major driving force in the region, UWS is a vital hub for new knowledge and innovation - making a difference to the lives of individuals and communities within Greater Western Sydney and beyond, particularly with its high-impact research program that has grown rapidly over the last decade.

"The visit by Senator Carr was a timely and welcome opportunity to showcase the University's internationally-recognised research centres and demonstrate how they are helping to secure the region's and the nation's long-term future through social, cultural, environmental and economic change."

Senator Carr heard presentations from leading researchers - many of whom are carrying out research funded through prestigious Australian Research Council grants - as well as taking in a number of research displays.

Such presentations ranged from medical research, the science of climate change, developing cutting-edge human-machine communication technologies, investigating the effectiveness of complementary medicines, and developing our cultural understanding in a globalised world; through to exploring health policy and population health issues, advising on business and industry innovation, and providing strategies for better urban planning, housing and infrastructure.

Professor Reid says UWS entered a period of significant research investment in 2006 with additional funding of $50 million over the following ten years to double its research activity which may be increased further after the current UWS Research Review.

"UWS is developing an increasing reputation for research excellence and continues to be placed highly when it comes to prestigious Australian Research Council funding," says Professor Reid.

"UWS has enjoyed an annual growth in external research income of 18 per cent over 5 years, and the success rate of the ARC Linkage research partnerships with industry and business is consistently among the top 20 in Australia.

"UWS research is highly regarded for its inter-disciplinary approach, and one of its unique qualities and key strengths is its collaboration with industry, government and the community sectors."



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