Collaborative Research Initiatives

Addressing global challenges requires strong transdisciplinary teams to deliver pathways to impact.

With the help of the UQ research community, the Global Change Institute is developing multiple Collaborative Research Initiatives to address global challenges. Coordination of these exciting new initiatives is ongoing and currently encompasses:

One Health approach to Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR)

Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is a global health threat that endangers the modern medical system.

It is an inexorable, slow-moving pandemic with the potential to cause 10 million annual global deaths by 2050 and an adverse economic impact estimated at up to US$100 trillion.

AMR is multi-faceted and extends across human health, animal health and has various agricultural and environmental factors that also contributing to its development and subsequent spread.

A ‘One Health’ approach recognises that relationships exist between the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment. Further, actions can be taken in these sectors that can have an impact not only in their own sector, but also across others.

Australia’s national AMR strategy states that “any effective response to the continuing rise of AMR requires a ‘One Health’ approach: coordinated action across all sectors where antimicrobials are used in the country, as well as close coordination with global action”.

This research initiative will attempt to link the UQ research efforts conducted across various institutes and faculties into a coherent One Health approach to address aspects of AMR and the related needs of industry partners and government.

Contact: Laura Garcia Carrascosa

Future Sustainable Cities City transitions

Cities around the world are grappling with transitions towards increased environmental sustainability, improved liveability and enhanced social equity.

The challenges are many, but so are the opportunities.

South-east Queensland is moving to a rapid phase of transformation, catalysed by the 2032 Olympics, significant migration, and once-in-a-generation investment that will define our region’s prosperity and liveability for decades to come.

The next 3-5 years will be pivotal for SEQ to successfully leverage these catalysts to realise our region's full potential and address current and future challenges. Meeting these challenges will require genuine, coordinated stakeholder collaboration and evidenced-based approaches and models.

UQ has broad and deep research expertise related to many facets of regional growth that can enable and support SEQ’s transformation. This includes expertise in urban design, sustainability, infrastructure, mobility, energy, water, waste, and community services.

As one of the largest employers, talent attractors, educators and infrastructure owners and investors, The University of Queensland will play an active leadership role in the region’s transformation and the City Transitions Collaborative Research Initiative aims to enhance UQ’s capability by facilitating transdisciplinary research and catalysing increased industry engagement and enduring collaborations.

We're working alongside existing UQ initiatives to harness the research impact potential.

Contact: Tony Tucker

Healthy Trajectories for ChildrenHealthy Families

Healthy Trajectories for Children  focuses on addressing the importance of community-based, co-designed interventions to address the needs of children and their families in the health system and ensuring they have a healthy, productive and long life. 

Examples of the challenges this CRI will address with stakeholders include:

  • complexities experienced by families in navigating the health system and obtaining timely and appropriate health care, and ongoing support for children with complex needs
  • specific and unmet needs of families of children with physical, neurodevelopmental and/or learning challenges
  • promotion of healthy eating and physical activity behaviours established in families and day-care centres, pre-schools and schools, and
  • systemic inequities between children to achieve optimal health outcomes, healthy behaviours and access to health services (e.g. socio-economic differences).

Contact: Dr Laura G. Carrascosa

Responding to future household and business energy needs and behaviourssolar farm

Many energy networks are having trouble transitioning to meet the pace of demand for solar, battery and EV network integration.  Consumer adoption is happening faster than anticipated by network owners and regulators.

To-date, renewable energy transition approaches have either used a technology and infrastructure-based approach or an economic approach to address this problem. These approaches have not always delivered favourable outcomes, and some have resulted in unexpected negative impacts.

To-date, consumer-focused approaches to the network integration challenge have received little attention.

To successfully address this complex challenge it will require an energy transition strategy that is more consumer-focussed, yet integrated with energy networks and respectful of both new technology, existing infrastructure and real-world economic drivers.

energy flow

Battery adoption opportunity 

  • Batteries will increase use of renewables, reduce emissions and help address forecast energy supply challenges.
  • Household and community batteries are forecast to rapidly connect to the network in the coming years.
  • Without urgent attention to a range of emerging challenges, uncoordinated battery network connection in the consumer energy market stands to embed significant ongoing technical issues and potentially inhibit significant societal benefits.

Addressing customer battery adoption challenges

A collaborative project is proposed to better understand and address customer-focused battery adoption needs and concerns to support three critical long-term outcomes: 

  1. Increase battery uptake by households, communities and small business to increase solar benefits
  2. Maximise battery application effectiveness in supporting grid stability and minimising energy costs
  3. Protect households, communities and business during transition to dynamic market.

Contact: Caroline Stott

Zero Net Emissions from AgricultureNet zero emissions

The agriculture sector is significant to Australia’s national economy and is worth $70 billion annually with around $10 billion in Queensland.  In 2017, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) announced a bold agriculture vision to achieve $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.

This vision kickstarted a national dialogue on the support needed for Australian agriculture to reach its potential.

A more recent challenge in all sectors is the movement towards meeting a national target of zero net emissions. There is a need to balance the environmental and industrial imperatives with the real action required to achieve this target while also meeting the aforementioned need to grow agricultural production and value.

UQ and our industry and research partners are extremely well positioned to leverage our collective capabilities to take a cross-commodity and trans-disciplinary systems approach to this complex problem.

A coordinated approach will target the research, development and adoption of science and technology led solutions at scale driven by our industry and government partners – this will take us beyond the existing trade-offs and delivery industry and sectoral impact.

Our approach will be co-designed with industry and will be strongly aligned to State and Commonwealth government priorities. Through the broad themes of plant and animal production systems, markets and supply chains, UQ will aim to lift the translation efficiency of agricultural research and make significant progress towards a ZNE position for agriculture.

Contact: Alisa Becker

Model of impact