Media Releases
Jenna Bradwell
15/01/2013

UOW research challenges to transform lives and regions


How will manufacturing-based regions survive as the world steers away from carbon-heavy economies? What transformations will we need to make to ensure a longer life is also a better life for our ageing population? Is it possible to start from scratch when it comes to designing a more sustainable coastal environment?

These are some of the greatest challenges facing Australia and the world over the coming decades and University of Wollongong (UOW) researchers are on a mission to solve them.

In 2013, UOW will launch its Global Challenges Program, a major research initiative designed to harness the expertise of world-class researchers to solve complex, real-world problems – to transform lives and regions.

Global Challenges will bring researchers from a variety of disciplines together with business, government and community partners to work on the biggest challenges facing Australia and the rest of the world, including: managing an ageing population, coping with industrial transformation and sustaining coastal and marine environments.

The program encompasses research in areas where UOW has the potential to build on its areas of research excellence and make an impact in terms of both research outcomes and public benefit. The challenges the program will initially focus on in 2013 are:

    • Living well, longer

    • Manufacturing innovation

    • Sustaining coastal and marine zones

“We want to build on the important fundamental research being done by our key researchers and their partners. Our aim is to encourage and develop creative and community-engaged research that will help drive social, economic and cultural change in our region, and can be translated across the globe,” Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Research), Professor Judy Raper, said.

The Global Challenges Program is an important part of UOW’s strategy to be a global leader in research excellence and impact. It will build on UOW’s recent success in the Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 Initiative (ERA)*, which confirmed that UOW researchers are among the world’s best in their disciplines, ranking in the top 10 nationally for delivering research well above world standards.

“The program will provide a research platform that can harness and leverage our strong disciplinary base and grow new areas, aimed at helping UOW attain its aspiration of a position in the top 1% of world universities”, Professor Raper said.

The Global Challenges Program Director and Academic Leaders for each of the Challenges will be in place by April 2013, with the program and research projects set to be operational by July 2013.

More information: www.uow.edu.au/research/globalchallenges

Contact: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Judy Raper, (02) 4221 3915 or 0439 605 518.

*Administered by the Australian Research Council, ERA is an assessment system that evaluates the quality of the research conducted at Australian universities by discipline.

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