Up to $300,000 is available under the linkage projects scheme to help researchers and businesses generate products and services that would benefit the economy.

linkage projects scheme

ARC Linkage Projects Scheme

The ARC Linkage Projects Scheme brings together researchers, business, industry and other end-users to solve problems that help generate more products and services for Australia’s economic, commercial, social and cultural benefit.

The ARC Linkage Projects scheme:

  • will be open to continuous applications, allowing both researchers and industry partners to take greater advantage of opportunities for collaboration faster, and encourage more partnerships between universities and business
  • will continue to fund through the ARC the highest quality applications taking into consideration the anticipated benefit of the research.



The Australian Research Council (ARC) is progressing well with the implementation of a continuous application process for the Linkage Projects scheme from 1 July 2016.  The ARC is very keen to ensure that there is a smooth transition from the current round of Linkage Projects, which is currently under assessment, to the new continuous applications model. The ARC is finalising plans for consultation with industry and research institutions so that the stakeholder views are taken into account in the final delivery of the Linkage Projects scheme.  The ARC anticipates that it will commence consultation in March.

The Linkage Projects scheme is part of the National Competitive Grants Programme, which is comprised of two sub-programmes: Discovery and Linkage. In addition to the Linkage Projects scheme, the Linkage Programme schemes are: ARC Centres of Excellence; Co-funded Centres; Industrial Transformation Research Hubs; Industrial Transformation Training Centres; Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities; Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects; and Special Research Initiative



The objectives of the Linkage Projects scheme are to:

  • support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations, including industry and other research end-users, in order to apply advanced knowledge to problems and/or to provide opportunities to obtain national economic, commercial, social or cultural benefits
  • provide opportunities for internationally competitive research projects to be conducted in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research
  • encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system
  • build the scale and focus of research in the national Science and Research Priorities.



The Linkage Projects Scheme provides project funding of $50,000 to $300,000 per year for two to five years.


Eligible Projects

Project funding may be used for: equipment and consumables; fieldwork expenses; accessing infrastructure, equipment and expert services; hiring personnel, for example, research associates or assistants and technicians; funding PhD stipends; publication and dissemination of Project outputs and outreach activity; specialised computer equipment and software; web hosting and web development; teaching relief; and domestic and international travel.



Applications open 23 December 2016 and close December 2017.


More Information


Recent Recipient

The new projects awarded funding include:

  • $675,000 to University of Wollongong, for a project led by Professor Buddhima Indraratna, to examine the factors that cause mud pumping and evaluate the effectiveness of sub-surface drainage to prevent rail track instability, particularly for mining and agriculture loads. The project aims to improve track longevity and reduce maintenance costs, with a corresponding boost in rail productivity.
  • $450,000 for a research project at The University of Queensland, led by Dr Steven Pratt, to develop strategies to mitigate silica scaling at coal seam gas water treatment facilities. The project may lead to more productive use of assets, improved pretreatment infrastructure, and the environmental benefits of reduced chemical waste and increased water recovery.
  • $555,000 to The University of Queensland, for a research project led by Associate Professor Yongjun Peng, to understand the reactions taking place during the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals. The project will develop new technologies to achieve mineral separation and metal extraction more efficiently and economically, halving the operating costs and providing reductions in harmful emissions.
  • $195,000 for a research project at The University of Queensland, led by Professor Peter Hayes to support improved extraction and utilisation of Australia’s iron ore resources by providing new technical information on the behaviour of ores during iron ore sintering. The project may improve the iron-making process, supporting companies to efficiently use, market, and sell different iron ores.

The ARC is proud to have delivered on this key NISA measure to boost the innovative capacity of the nation by supporting research collaboration


Media Release

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, has today announced $4.9 million for another 11 successful research projects funded under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme, including research to: strengthen anti-counterfeiting features for Australian banknotes; ensure safe drinking water supplies; develop lighter and stronger plastics; advance faster, higher resolution 3D printing technology; and measure driving patterns to help establish ‘fitness to drive’ for older Australians.

ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Leanne Harvey, said the ARC continues to deliver on an important National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) measure—a continuous application and assessment process for the ARC’s Linkage Projects scheme with the aim of improving research-industry collaboration and fast-tracking research.

“This new funding is provided to six universities across Australia to support 11 new Linkage Projects that involve significant collaboration between higher education institutions and their partner organisations—25 national and international partner and industry organisations will provide cash and in-kind contributions of over $8.4 million,” Ms Harvey said.

“Among six new Linkage Projects awarded to The University of Melbourne, researchers will work with the Reserve Bank of Australia to develop anti-counterfeiting features for future Australian banknotes; and Melbourne Water Corporation to develop a program to prevent waterborne diseases in drinking water.

“Researchers at The University of Queensland will work with Eden Innovations to develop lighter and stronger plastics for manufacturing applications.

“University of Tasmania researchers will collaborate with Young Optics to develop high speed, high fidelity 3D printing that will provide manufacturing with unprecedented capability.

“Curtin University of Technology will create a partnership with the Road Safety Commission, Alzheimer’s Australia and other key partners to comprehensively investigate the impact of mild dementia on driving performance.

“Queensland University of Technology will work with six partner organisations, including the National Heart Foundation of Australia, to assess and improve South East Queensland parks to more effectively encourage physical activity and improve health and wellbeing.

“The University of Adelaide will work with four partner organisations, including Origin Energy, to develop a 4D tectonic geography framework to support the effective exploration of the Australian McArthur Basin.”

More details about all the Linkage Projects announced today are available from the ARC website.