Australian Institute for Nanoscience

2 July 2010

The Australian Institute for Nanoscience will focus on research across three areas, communications, medical diagnostics and astronomy, united by a common disciplinary core of nanoscale science.


"The Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney welcomes the $40million funding from the federal government's Education Investment Fund, which will allow us to establish the Australian Institute for Nanoscience," said Professor Mitchell Guss, Acting Dean of Science.

"The new institute will focus and increase our research in nanoscience, including the development of nano-devices that will have impacts in many fields including physics, materials science, photonics and medicine."

"It's an outstanding boost for nanoscience in Australia, with the new institute drawing together our existing expertise in the area, attracting international and industry collaborations, as well as inspiring the next generation of scientists to become involved in nanoscience research," explained Professor Guss.

The Australian Institute for Nanoscience will be located in a major research precinct at the University spanning medical and physical science and will host a range of nationally accessible research infrastructure.

"Nanoscale science is now reaching a limit where the careful design and construction of a laboratory can have a significant impact on research. The Australian Institute for Nanoscience will establish a new building and new laboratories which are purpose built to enable breakthrough science in nanoscale technology," said Dr David Reilly, from the School of Physics, who was one of the proposal writers for the new Institute.

"Research at the Australian Institute for Nanoscience will create new quantum and photonic devices for advanced computing, sensing, and secure communication, and will develop new biomedical tools that harness nanotechnology for the diagnosis and treatment of disease," explained Dr Reilly.

Researchers at this facility will develop nano-devices that will have impacts in many fields and lead to the development of leading-edge innovations in broadband and low energy secure communications; advanced medical diagnostics and therapies; and advances in knowledge through new astronomy instruments.

Former Minister for Education Julia Gillard and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr said they believed the Institute "will build research capacity and expand the scope for collaboration with high-tech Australian businesses, leading to direct economic and social benefits."

The Australian Institute for Nanoscience has the potential to deliver transformational benefits to society, including:

Faster, more secure and more energy efficient communications based on photonics and quantum science technologies.

New medical diagnostics and therapies by combining quantum technologies with medical imaging and drug delivery modalities, and next generation approaches to challenges like that of a fully implantable bionic eye.

Revolutionary optical instrumentation to explore the frontiers of our universe, and novel data processing technologies for the Square Kilometre Array.

The AIN will be located near the School of Physics and will bring together several internationally competitive and nationally collaborative research centres including the ARC Centre of Excellence in Photonics and will involve more than 100 researchers and will train 120 postgraduate students in the first three years of activity.

The purpose-designed space will accommodate a further 50 visiting researchers enabling deeper national and international partnerships.

The Australian Institute for Nanoscience is pivotal in addressing the need in the sector for infrastructure development to keep pace with and support growth in human capacity in nanoscience and the physical sciences more broadly in Australia.

Contact: Alison Muir

Phone: 02 9036 5194

Email: 2e082d0936086d424128232b474b1d045723172b20434f5502