There is new funding for applied research and money for a less blue-sky than dark-matter programme
The government has announced $7.6m for two centres researching data science in mining. The grants will fund research data analytics on the use of natural resources at the University of Sydney and training for scientists in data analytics and sensor use at the University of Adelaide.
There is also $4.9m for Swinburne U led research on “thin nano-structured films and thick coatings” which apparently are just what manufacturing needs.
Education Minister Dan Tehan also separately announced $35m for the University of Melbourne led ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics, to use a lab in an old, underground and accordingly deeply dark goldmine in Stawell, Vic. This is on top of $5m for the project from the Commonwealth and Victorian governments announced in April.
There were mutterings yesterday about Stawell being in the minister’s electorate – which were dumb. It is now, due to a re-distribution, but it wasn’t when the project got a start, with federal funding in 2015 (CMM April 9). This is pure research, “we can’t see dark matter but we know it exists and unlocking its secrets has the potential to transform our understanding of the universe,” Mr Tehan says. The purest.