ARC funding to strengthen industry partnerships

19 Jun 2018
Three projects involving researchers from The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law will share in more than $600,000 in funding from the Federal Government’s Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants.

BEL researchers will work with industry and partner institutions on projects to unlock the benefits of digital systems in hospitals, improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities, and determine how economic complexity and competitiveness drive innovation.

Their co-investigators will include researchers from the University of Wollongong and Flinders University, and partner organisations including Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Cerner Corporation, the Department of Family and Community Services and the Department of State Development.  

BEL Faculty Associate Dean (Research) Professor Victor Callan said the funding reflected BEL’s track record for strong collaborative research partnerships.

“Our researchers are committed to working with their co-investigators, industry and government to confront the challenges facing our local and global community,” Professor Callan said.

“This latest round of funding will support game-changing research in many different areas, including healthcare, Australian workplaces and the innovation space.

“Congratulations to all BEL researchers involved in these collaborative projects. We look forward to seeing the outcomes.”  

Across Australia, 66 new Linkage Projects were supported for a total of $26.5 million, with partner organisations to contribute additional cash and in-kind contributions of more than $55.4 million. UQ researchers will lead 12 of the funded projects.   

BEL researchers will be involved in the following ARC Linkage Projects:

Unlocking benefits from digital investments through meaningful use

Hospitals are shifting from paper-based and siloed systems to fully integrated digital systems that can underpin new models of care. Administered by UQ, this project will pinpoint how these new platforms need to be used to best generate value from their investments. 

ARC funding amount: $330,000

Investigators: Professor Andrew Burton-Jones (UQ Business School), Associate Professor Paul Spee (UQ Business School), Dr Saeed Akhlaghpour (UQ Business School), Adjunct Professor Michael Draheim (UQ Business School), Dr Andrew Staib (UQ Faculty of Medicine), Dr Clair Sullivan (Princess Alexandra Hospital).

Partner organisations: Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Vancouver Coastal Health, Cerner Corporation.


Greater inclusion of people with a disability in Australian workplaces: a social marketing challenge

Administered by the University of Wollongong, this project will help more people with a disability gain meaningful employment. Investigators will develop a model of successful employment for people with a disability, identify sources of employer diversity that explain the differences in willingness to hire people with a disability, and develop social marketing messages that improve employer attitudes and inclusivity in Australian workplaces.

ARC funding amount: $200,000

Investigators: Associate Professor Melanie Randle (University of Wollongong), Associate Professor Rob Gordon (University of Wollongong), Professor Kathy Eagar (University of Wollongong), Professor Sara Dolnicar (UQ Business School), Mr Simon Watts (Department of Family and Community Services).

Partner organisations: Department of Family and Community Services.


Economic complexity as a driver of innovation and smart specialisation

Innovation is crucial for creating new industries and the jobs of the future. Administered by Flinders University, this project will determine how economic complexity can drive innovation and ‘smart specialisation’. It will also investigate how industry can be supported to transition to a more competitive economy.

ARC funding amount: $143,646

Investigators: Professor John Spoehr (Flinders University), Professor John Quiggin (UQ School of Economics), Associate Professor Giselle Rampersad (Flinders University), Professor David Powers (Flinders University), Dr Rong Zhu (Flinders University).

Partner organisations: Department of State Development.


Contact: BEL Communications, Alysha Hilevuo,, (07) 3346 9349.