NCRIS case studies

NCRIS case studies illustrate the real life outcomes of research conducted at NCRIS facilities, and demonstrate the social and economic return from the Government’s investment in national research infrastructure.

More case studies will be added to this page over the coming months.

Image shows a thermal camera measuring plant temperature to assess stress tolerance

Feeding the world, one crop at a time

Currently global grain production is only just meeting demand. With the global population expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, cereal grain production must almost double to meet projected global food demand. New thinking is needed to ensure we have the ability to feed future generations.

Gemini Observatory image of the planetary nebula Sh2-71.

Gemini and Magellan telescopes: Driving Australian astronomical research excellence

For Australia to remain a world leader in astronomical research and instrumentation, access to the largest aperture optical telescopes is essential.

Building and operating large-scale optical telescopes requires a level of resources and expertise that is often best realised through international collaboration. Arrangements with existing facilities, and participation in multi-national partnerships to share costs and pool expertise, is needed.

Image shows Crane and steel support structures on a construction site

Giving Australia a competitive advantage in global steel markets

To remain competitive in the global steel industry, Australia must be innovative. The global drive for energy savings and reduced emissions means there are new markets for products such as lighter but stronger steels.

The Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF) —supported by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) programme — is working with BlueScope Steel Ltd to look at these issues.

Photo of an Argo float deployment provided by Alicia Navidad of CSIRO.

IMOS: national capability, global reach

Australia is a marine nation with the third largest ocean territory on Earth, ranging from the high tropics to Antarctica, Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean.

We derive massive economic, social and environmental benefits from the marine environment, through marine industries, maritime defence, coastal ecosystem services, climate and weather, and marine biodiversity.

Image depicting AuScope’s geodetic network

Precision positioning for Australia

Australia depends increasingly on technology to support industries such as mining, agriculture, shipping and aviation. The security of Australia and its people also depends on the ability to accurately understand how our continent is physically changing over time. State surveyors, Essential Services and the Australian Defence Force currently all rely on the ability to determine global position with a decimetre to centimetre accuracy.

Image shows the SkyMapper telescope, located in Siding Springs observatory near Coonabarabran

The greatest map ever made

Research is increasingly conducted using massive and complex collections of data — indeed, some research questions cannot be answered without them.

Artist’s impression of a phosphorus atom (red sphere surrounded by electron cloud, with arrow showing the spin direction) coupled to a silicon single-electron transistor. A burst of microwaves (blue) is used to ‘write’ information on the electron spin.

The silicon quantum computer - changing the face of technology

Quantum computers will lead to the development of many new and revolutionary technologies. This is due to their ability to solve problems that traditional computers cannot, making possible:

  • the identification and development of new medicines, which would be sped up greatly by the computer-aided design of pharmaceutical compounds
  • greatly reduced timescales for the introduction of new medicines, by minimising lengthy trial and error testing
  • the accelerated development of new, lighter and stronger materials for a wide range of products, with applications spanning consumer electronics to aircraft, through advanced molecular quantum computer aided design.
Landsat 8 image of the Wynham-Kununurra region of Western Australia; showing enhanced water features and mangroves in the mouth of the Ord River.

Unlocking Australia’s geographic time machine

Data on Australia’s landscape and climate has been collected for more than 100 years and this information can be used to inform national decisions about natural disasters, water, food, and resource management.

With a rapidly growing satellite base of growing capability, the volume of useful data becoming available is now overwhelming and existing computing installations lack the power to process such large datasets.

Plants growing on a red sand dune beneath a clear blue sky

Using the latest data to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectancy at birth is 11.5 years for males and 10 years for females. The Council of Australian Governments recognises that disadvantage has multiple causes and is committed to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

High quality data is essential to enable accurate reporting and to help close the gap for Indigenous Australians.