Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CQUniversity to invest $7m in establishing Adelaide research presence

I am delighted to announce the appointment of renowned human factors and safety researcher Professor Drew Dawson as CQUniversity’s inaugural Engaged Research Chair.

All year I’ve been saying that 2011 is going to be the year of research at CQUniversity and following the acquisition of the former CSIRO laboratories in Rockhampton (see previous Blog), we will now be establishing a research centre in Adelaide – the Appleton Institute.

The Appleton Institute will be a hub for South Australian research talent including the Human Factors & Safety Research Centre headed up by Professor Dawson which will help to establish a strong, credible and locally relevant presence for CQUniversity in South Australia.

With the ‘power of place’ offered by CQUniversity, Professor Dawson and his team (including lead researchers Associate Professor Sally Ferguson and Associate Professor Greg Roach) will now be able to more effectively apply their cutting edge research to tackling hot-button issues in theresource-rich Central Queensland region as well. The team are considered to be world leaders in the field of sleep research, with expertise in the areas of human sleep, biological rhythms, sleep disorders, workplace fatigue and risk management.

With a physical presence in South Australia and a strategic link to Queensland’s mining heartland, this appointment really is a win-win for academia and industry in both states.

This is not just about expanding CQUniversity’s geographic footprint – it really is about CQUniversity leveraging the best research talent in the nation, to address issues that have a direct impact on the communities we serve.

I am pleased we had the opportunity to acknowledge CQUniversity’s first Vice-Chancellor, the late Dr Arthur Appleton, with the naming of the Appleton Institute. Dr Appleton had strong ties to South Australia through his role as Head of Metallurgy at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now UniSA). The Appleton Institute will occupy the site of the former Royal District Nursing Service headquarters at Wayville and will house a state-of-the-art sleep laboratory and cognitive performance facility.

Plans to recruit up to 10 Engaged Research Chairs across a number of disciplines are underway and I look forward to sharing more exciting news with you as progress is made.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Innovation & Research Precinct for regional Queensland

I am excited to announce that a new state-of-the-art, CQUniversity research precinct – which is set to put Central Queensland on the world map for scientific innovation – is set to be located in the former CSIRO JM Rendel Laboratory in Rockhampton.

This facility, one of Australia’s premier livestock research facilities in years gone by, will be transformed into a regional research and innovation powerhouse known as the Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct (CQIRP).

I cannot overstate how much value CQIRP will generate for this region. Central Queensland – from Mackay to Bundaberg, from Gladstone to Emerald – has limitless untapped potential that is begging to be unlocked through unique research and innovation. We believe CQIRP will provide the key.

CQUniversity is embarking on an ambitious agenda of research and innovation resurgence over the next 10 years, which will revolutionise the University and the way we impact on the communities we service.

We are therefore putting our money where our mouth is, with plans to inject millions into staffing, resourcing and equipping CQIRP into a truly world-class facility over the next few years.

Put simply, this new development will position Central Queensland as the research and innovation capital of regional Australia, with benefits that will continue to flow to the community from today on.

We will now begin refurbishing the existing laboratories, with the first active research projects to start moving in by December this year.

By 2012, projects covering everything from natural resources, to water, to environmental management, to immunology and preventative health, will be brought ‘in house’.