17/02/2020 - 13:53

Research: the foundation for a knowledge economy

17/02/2020 - 13:53


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In 1911 there was consensus among legislators that the state’s first University should provide tertiary education of a practical nature to help develop Western Australia's pioneering economy. Over 100 years later, this is still the mission of The University of Western Australia, which plays a crucial role in the generation of knowledge to benefit our State.

Research is the foundation of the knowledge economy, as it enables us to understand the world in which we live. Research generates knowledge to solve problems, creates new ideas, explores future opportunities and contributes to new technologies and practices, with substantial benefits to us and our world. These include improved human health and wellbeing, increased food production and quality, better management of our natural resources and restoration of ecosystems, and a better shared understanding of our humanity.

UWA is a research-intensive university ranked in the top 100 in the world. Our researchers tackle global, regional and local issues to make the world a better place, with research translating into economic, social and environmental impact.

State-of-the-art facilities are a key ingredient for UWA’s world-leading research and innovation, including specialised instruments, laboratories, libraries and collections, and field sites. UWA has a history of attracting funding to bring important facilities to Western Australia. For example, the WA State Government has supported the coordinated effort of WA universities and medical research institutes to work together to attract new research kit under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

The NCRIS infrastructure is accessible for researchers from any organisation, including industrial ones. The suite of new instruments is diverse and includes equipment for ocean monitoring, examining specimens using advanced microscopes, human imaging for medical research, sequencing genomes and fabrication facilities for microelectronics work.

Our State’s capacity to continue to grow our innovative research, for the benefit of the WA community and beyond, relies on the talent of our people. Students taught by world-leading researchers will be our future leaders. UWA’s graduates are leaders across diverse sectors and communities, and across our vast State. Our inclusive culture, which values teamwork and multi-disciplinary collaboration, is crucial for solving complex research questions.

Our new decadal vision, UWA 2030, emphasises the importance of ‘world-leading, trustworthy research’. It is critical to the original mission of the University in delivering benefits to people’s lives, the economy and our society. Our research has already changed our State – and our researchers will change the world.


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