Research and Innovation Fund

The aim of the LGNSW Research and Innovation Fund is to support new areas of research, policy development and innovation for the advancement of local government in NSW. Its purpose is to fill gaps in the evidence base, explore emerging issues, promote informed discussion and debate, and encourage the development of research capacity within the sector.

LGNSW have allocated seed funding for the first year of operations, and our intention is to leverage this investment by selecting projects of broad sector application and then seeking to attract council, industry and university partners.

Councils were invited to put forward proposals for new research, policy development and innovation with broad application for local government across NSW, and Expressions of Interest were due by COB Monday 15 October 2018.

Forty-five (45) Expressions of Interest were received and a number of councils and university researchers did not lodge an EOI but expressed an intention to lodge next year. A summary and list of all of the EOIs received is available here.

LGNSW has appointed an Advisory Committee to assess the proposals, and the committee met in early November to select a short list of four projects.

Invitation to Choose, Fund and Collaborate

Councils are asked to respond to our ‘Invitation to Collaborate’ by 5pm on Tuesday 27th November. Tell us which of the four topics you think should be selected, and whether your Council would like to collaborate or provide funding to support this innovation.

The shortlisted projects are:

Greening the Greyfields, a new approach for community-co design, by Blacktown City Council

Australia’s cities face significant social, economic and environmental challenges, driven by population growth and rapid urbanisation. One way to address these challenges is to encourage medium-density living solutions through “precinct” scale development. This project aims to encourage co-design processes and implement a new approach for precinct level planning while using a data driven approach based on cutting edge scenario planning tools.

Evaluating the benefits of the GreenWay - A Living Laboratory, by Inner West Council

Using the Cooks River to Iron Cove GreenWay in Sydney’s inner west as a living laboratory, this study aims to understand the many benefits and challenges of urban greenways as multi-purpose sustainable transport and urban environmental corridors. Using longitudinal research, focused on before and after monitoring of the GreenWay Missing Links Project, a range of issues will be evaluated including changes in active travel rates (cycling, walking and light rail usage) and a range of other social, health and environmental issues. GreenWay Living Laboratory Fact Sheet (PDF, 542KB).

Recycled materials trial: using Plastiphalt in road works, by Nambucca Shire Council

This initiative aims to increase the use of recyclable materials, particularly plastic shopping bags.  Council intend to do the road construction project with “Plastiphalt” for the road pavement wearing surface. Previous laboratory tests in a different context suggest that there will be no noticeable difference in the look or the vehicular ride over standard asphaltic concrete as the glass is coarse sand (4mm minus) replacement, and that the plastic and toner as polymer additives will enhance the durability and performance of the product.

Waste to Energy at a Local Scale Feasibility Study Project, by Tenterfield Shire Council

The purpose of this project is to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study to convert municipal and other sources of waste into energy (WtE) at a local scale. It will also determine what the smallest scale is, the volume of waste and photovoltaic energy plant that could be used and will take into consideration the tyranny of distance and the subsequent transportation costs. The feasibility study will also determine whether councils across NSW and perhaps Australia, who are in a position to convert waste to energy, are able to form a cooperative sales arrangement through a partnership with a lower to medium tier power generator.

All councils in NSW are invited to participate in the shortlisted projects as industry partners, and university partners are also preparing each of these projects for an ARC Linkage application. LGNSW funds will be allocated to the shortlisted project which attracts the highest levels of support from NSW councils, and we will aim to lodge a linkage application by the end of 2018.

Download a full description of the shortlisted projects.

To respond to the invitation to collaborate, fill out the online form by 5pm Tuesday 27 November 2018.

Progressing Other Innovation Projects

LGNSW has an ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting research and innovation in the NSW local government sector and will endeavour to provide some support to all projects in order to progress good ideas and innovation. We will be in touch with all councils who lodged a submission to discuss potential funding sources and will also liaise with all potential partner universities to provide them with a list of potential projects and to identify potential research partners.

Building Council+University Collaboration

LGNSW encourages councils to work with a university partner that offers the best access to relevant expertise. If you are looking to discuss your research idea and haven’t yet identified a university partner, then this list of university contacts may assist.

Macquarie University Dr Lucy Taksa
Professor of Management,
Associate Dean (Research)
Faculty of Business and Economics
02 9850 4811
University of New England
further information
Lewis Kahn
Professor and Associate Dean - Research Faculty of Science
School of Environmental and Rural Science
0427 711 273
University of NSW Dr Mark Hebblewhite
Senior Policy and Government Relations Officer
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise)
0435 579 070
University of Sydney Katie Richmond
External Engagement Manager, Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships, Research Portfolio
0430 722 819
University of Technology Sydney
further information
Sophi Bruce
Senior Program Specialist Leadership UTS Centre for Local Government
0410 204 408
University of Wollongong Dr Robert Gorkin
Associate Professor – Australian Institute of Innovative Materials
0401 071 021
Western Sydney University Dr Michaela Tymichova
Business Development Officer
Research Engagement,
Development and Innovation (REDI),
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor,
Research and Innovation
0405 504 313