December 2016 Newsletter

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Note from the Manager

Thank you to everyone who participated in the SIEF Early Career Researcher Survey, and to all those selected by the external review team for analysis. Your assistance helped provide valuable insight into the broad cross section of SIEF activities and will help ensure that SIEF projects continue to optimise the delivery of work, training, and development opportunities for Early Career Researchers.

From the entire SIEF Team, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and very happy and safe New Year. We look forward to your continued interest in SIEF in 2017.

Dr Melissa Straffon
SIEF Manager
(03) 9545 7952 or 0408 134 581

Experimental Development Program

Following the successful launch of the Experimental Development Program, the Black Tiger Prawns antivirals project formally commenced in mid 2016, and two additional projects have commenced since then. Transpirational is developing a biodegradable polymer membrane for agriculture; and Hovermap is improving mapping and navigation system technology for drones. With several more applications in progress, the Experimental Development Program continues to assert itself as a viable funding option for progressing technology to commercial investment and market uptake. If you are considering submitting a proposal to the SIEF EDP, please contact the SIEF Team prior to commencing your application to discuss key aspects including eligibility.

Research Projects Update

One of our Research Projects, Aero Engine, has recently been hailed as a world leader in customised 3D printing. Supported by SIEF, the collaborative project between Monash University, CSIRO, Deakin University, Amaero, and SAFRAN-MicroTurbo, took an aero engine, scanned it and created two copies, including 23 different components, using customised 3D metal printers. This ‘waste-free’, rapidly developing technology is key to placing Australia as a lead contender in additive manufacturing in the global market.

Special Research Programs

SIEF support of the Synchrotron Science and the ASKAP is now complete. A summary of the projects is available on the SIEF website.

Synchrotron Science filled a gap in the National Innovation System by providing access for Australian Publicly Funded Research Agencies (PFRAs) to the Australian Synchrotron. Not only has SIEF supported great research but has also resulted in over 25% of SIEF funded users of the AS being classified as ECRs.

With the funding from SIEF (matched by CSIRO), the ASKAP Project enhanced and extended ASKAP through the addition of another twelve Phase Array Feeds (PAFs) and their associated digital systems. The project helped ensure delivery of this revolutionary telescope at close to the scientific capability required to ensure optimum scientific impact and lasting benefit to Australia.

SIEF Annual Report Over the past year, a paper detailing the history of SIEF was published in the Historical Records of Australian Science, and two new SIEF initiatives were introduced. Further information can be read in the SIEF Annual Report.