QUT will play a key role in shaping the future of Australia’s food and transport industries following today’s announcement of two Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) with a combined value of nearly $444 million.
QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Commercialisation Professor Arun Sharma said the university was well placed to take a leading research role in the CRCs which drive change through digital transformation.
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator Arthur Sinodinos has announced a $210 million Food Agility CRC which includes $50 million funding from the federal government and a $234M for an iMOVE CRC incorporating $55 million federal funding.
Professor Sharma said the research would enable QUT to harness its deep technological strengths and transdisciplinary approach to problem solving to work with partner organisations to develop new technologies that would benefit the whole of Australia.
He said global population growth, predicted to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, provided Australia as a producer of fresh and processed food with enormous opportunity and that QUT would, through the Food Agility CRC, work with the agri-food industry to determine how best this opportunity could be pursued.
“New digital technologies and platforms will be created to connect food producers, processors and retailers to each other and to the data they need to run their businesses more efficiently, profitably and sustainably,” Professor Sharma said.
“Through the Food Agility CRC we will create simple, user-friendly tools that will help businesses all along the food value chain to detect opportunities, assess risks and make sound decisions, from tools that assist in the sustainable and efficient use of soil through to the use of artificial intelligence in food provenance and supply chain tracing.”
Professor Sharma said the iMOVE CRC was charged with delivering reduced congestion, fuel use, emissions and crashes, improved freight co-ordination, productivity and international competitiveness, and lifestyle and wellbeing.
He said QUT’s involvement would be cross disciplinary and include researchers from road safety, smart transport, regional and urban planning, digital media and design.
“We will work with our CRC partners to deliver the technical infrastructure, data frameworks, models and tools to support Australia’s adoption of increasingly sophisticated transport networks,” professor Sharma said.
“The research will also pave the way for the smooth adoption of connected autonomous vehicles, development of the next generation of traffic models and support multi-modal transport services,” he said.
He said personal preferences and behaviours to support the development of new solutions for mobility would also be investigated.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Commercialisation Professor Arun Sharma said QUT would lead research in two new CRCs to drive the digital transformation of Australia's food and transport industries.
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