UNSW Sydney to invest $200m in new institutes

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UNSW Sydney has announced the creation of four new institutes focused on finding solutions to major scientific and social challenges.

The UNSW Futures Institutes are part of the UNSW Futures initiative, a major component of the university’s 2025 Strategy.

The university said the aim of UNSW Futures is to provide a framework for facilitating cross-faculty and interdisciplinary work. 

UNSW said it will invest up to $200 million in new and emerging areas from across faculties.

It said these 'virtual institutes' will receive core funding to support operations, seed-funding for new research projects, and a commitment of funding for Strategic Hires and Retention Program (SHARP) hires.

The first Futures Institutes are:

  • UNSW Ageing Futures Institute: enabling optimal ageing for individuals and society – led by Professor Kaarin Anstey;
  • UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute: inventing technologies to decode individual cell DNA, chromatin, RNA, and protein outputs that will be used for precise diagnosis and precision treatment of human disease – led by Professor Chris Goodnow;
  • UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute: future-proofing global energy systems to ensure reliable, secure, affordable, sustainable energy supply – led by Professor Joe Dong; and,
  • UNSW Materials & Manufacturing Futures Institute: transforming the future of materials and manufacturing research in energy, transport, information technology, and healthcare – initially led by Professor Sean Li pending a definitive appointment.

According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Nicholas Fisk, “The Institutes will enhance UNSW’s focus on innovative interdisciplinary and cross-faculty research that impacts society and policy.

“The Institutes build on our existing strengths and will act as a drawcard for international recruitment, government and industry links, while harnessing academic excellence to address humanity’s major challenges.”