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Amanda Morgan
01/09/2017
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UOW research partnerships recognised for impact

Profiling outstanding partnerships that are solving complex challenges and developing new technologies to improve our world

From working with local government to improve community inclusion for people with dementia, to connecting with industry to test new technology to generate power from waste, University of Wollongong (UOW) researchers partner with a range of organisations to deliver evidence-based, real-world societal and technological change.

Launched on Thursday August 31 by UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Judy Raper, the UOW Partners for Research Impact initiative profiles more than 40 research projects demonstrating the power of partnership between researchers and industry, government, and community organisations.

“There are many stories to tell of the impact of partnerships at the University of Wollongong,” Professor Raper said.

“Our researchers and their partners are improving the longevity and cost effectiveness of Australian railways; they are using art to bridge farming communities and the environment; they are implementing technology to convert waste into energy; they are understanding how early childhood education influences long term academic outcomes.

“These partnerships are multifaceted, deep and enduring. The momentum required for sustaining these connections and helping them to flourish is a reflection of the commitment, energy and perseverance of the researchers involved.

“It is inspiring to see what these connections are achieving, and to imagine what they will achieve in the future,” she said.

UOW Partners for Research Impact features 44 project profiles, which altogether involve researchers working with 144 partner organisations.

The initiative aims to demonstrate how partnerships between university researchers and external organisations can deliver mutual benefit and speed up the implementation of research evidence into industry practice.

For example, a recipient of the 2017 UOW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Partnership and Impact, Professor Long Nghiem, is featured for his ongoing partnership with Sydney Water.

This collaboration is developing new research methods in urban water technologies, which are being tested at sites across the water and sewage treatment network in New South Wales.

The UOW Partners for Research Impact initiative was launched at today’s UOW Research Engagement and Impact Forum held for UOW staff.

The initiative is part of the UOW Impact series, began in 2015 with the launch of 40 Years of Research Impact, and was followed in 2016 by UOW Women of Impact.

At the Forum, Associate Professor Melanie Randle, from the UOW Faculty of Business, provided an overview of her partnerships with Illawarra-based organisations to improve the recruitment and retention of volunteers and foster carers using evidence based marketing strategies, also featured in the initiative.

Hard copies of the UOW Partners for Research Impact booklet are available, and can also be viewed online at: www.uow.edu.au/research/partnersforimpact

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