New ARC Training Centre in Radiation Innovation

06 Sep 2023

Nuclear and radiation science, policy and regulation are fundamental components crucial to Australia's future, encompassing natural resources, health, quantum, space and national security.

The Australian National University (ANU), in partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA) and University of Adelaide (UA), has been awarded $4.99m in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to bolster the nation's capabilities in sectors underpinned by nuclear and radiation science and policy.

The ARC grant, together with matching investment by the three Universities and 16 partners across industry and government, will be used to establish an ANU-led Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Radiation Innovation (RadInnovate).

The Training Centre will create a leading-edge workforce with sophisticated skills in nuclear and radiation science, policy and regulation.

RadInnovate students will receive hands-on training from Australia's experts in nuclear science and engineering, governance and regulations, ethics, science communication, and inclusion, across three Universities and through being embedded in industry and government placements and attending industry-specific courses.

Centre Director of RadInnovate, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, said that the Training Centre will provide new training initiatives, co-designed with industry partners, to inspire innovation across diverse industries.

"Nuclear and radiation science, policy and regulation underpin a range of national priority sectors from natural resources, health, modern manufacturing, space and national security," she said.

"RadInnovate will deliver nationally networked, sovereign training that is driven by industry needs, and will include programs to increase diversity in science as well as socially and environmentally responsible innovation."

Professor Dasgupta said that RadInnovate's next generation of transdisciplinary leaders will understand both the foundational science and technologies, the necessary regulatory frameworks, and will be equipped with science-communication skills to navigate a rapidly changing domestic and international landscape. They will deliver enhanced sovereign-capability in nuclear and radiation science and technology that is of critical importance for the nation.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt congratulated those involved in securing funding for training centres that will support Australia's future research professionals.

"This achievement recognises the commitment of ANU to look to the future, drive innovation, cultivate knowledge and create solutions that address the complex challenges of our time," he said.

The Training Centre will commence in 2024 and expressions of interest are now open to future PhD students with an interest in nuclear and radiation science, communications, governance and policy.

Partners on the Training Centre

The ANU is leading the Training Centre in collaboration with UniSA and UA, and more than 16 partners from across industry and government. Partners include Research and Development

Corporations (RDCs), industry representatives, Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, and research and technology organisations.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Keith Nugent said that ARC Training Centres provide PhD and early career researcher training for industries vital to Australia's future.

"ANU is delighted to be collaborating with partners across government, academia, and industry towards a shared vision."

The partners on the Training Centre are:

  • Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub
  • Advancell Isotopes
  • Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research
  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
  • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (Arpansa)
  • Australian Radioactive Waste Agency
  • Babcock
  • Bhp Olympic Dam Corporation
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Defence SA
  • Defence Science and Technology Group
  • Entx Limited
  • Quantum Brilliance
  • Queensland Health
  • Reforme Minerals
  • Skykraft
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