11/06/2008 - 22:00

$1.9m Curtin grant

11/06/2008 - 22:00

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Curtin University of Technology has secured $1.

Curtin University of Technology has secured $1.9 million in funding from the Australian Research Council for six collaborative research projects, including a study into the prospective Canning Basin area.

The funding will also be used in a project that is designed to boost Australia's bid for the Square Kilometre Array radio astronomy project.

The funding for the six research projects, run through the Linkage Project Scheme, will be boosted by a further $4.3 million contribution by partner organisations.

The resource potential of the Canning Basin will be studied by Curtin Professor Kliti Grice as part of a multidisciplinary team that will test environmental implications of developing the area.

The Canning Basin has attracted increased interest in recent years from oil and gas exploration companies.

West Perth based ARC Energy Ltd has a substantial holding in the potentially prosperous oil and gas region, which despite showing geographical similarities to highly productive regions in the US, is one of the least explored Palaeozoic basins in the world.

The SKA is a $2 billion radio teles-cope project, with Western Aust-ralia and South Africa shortlisted to host the site.

Curtin's Professor Steven Tingay will co-lead a team developing a state-of-the-art commercial prototype cryogenic sapphire oscillator that will be used to enhance image quality in radio telescopes.

The state and federal governments have supported Australia's bid to host the SKA, investing more than $130 million in an effort to secure the project.

"The level of support shown by our industry partners for Curtin's research has always been significant, and we continually work to nurture and enhance this collaboration over the long term," Curtin deputy vice-chancellor for research and development, Professor Linda Kristjanson, said in a statement.

The six projects will cover areas such as public health, physical sciences, chemical engineering, geology, geochemistry and artificial intelligence.

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