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CSIRO provides launchpad for low carbon research

Posted 25 May 2018 - 2:52pm

Fifteen CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) researchers have had their projects fast-tracked towards utilisation at a CSIRO Launch Camp in Adelaide.

The Camp is an intensive two-day, hands-on training program designed to help research teams develop pathways to impact by focusing on industry end-users and relevant sectors and markets.

Six research teams from the University of South Australia Node addressed projects ranging from greening urban transport, low energy and low carbon wastewater treatment, integrated carbon metrics, child friendly precinct design and energy rating tools for low carbon housing.

CRCLCL post-doctoral research fellow Dr Sandra Davison’s is part of a greening urban transport project that aims to understand transport behaviour including investigating the role share bikes and Uber can play in reducing inner-urban transport emissions.

Dr Davison said the Launch Camp helped her clarify the value proposition of her research. “I have a psychology background and the program has made me think about who is going to use our research and how I can make sure that it’s picked up.”

CRCLCL Utilisation and Impact Manager Stephen Summerhayes (far left) with CSIRO Launch Camp attendees

She said the CRCLCL’s support has helped her engage more broadly with her research participants and gain a deeper understanding of what drives human behaviour.

Dr Ke Xing has helped develop the Precinct Carbon Assessment Tool to quantify carbon emissions in the built environment. Designed to assist government agencies, developers, sustainability consultants and urban and infrastructure planners, the tool measures the full life cycle carbon performance of urban precincts, including the 'hidden' carbon emissions from the production of building materials.

“The workshop was refreshing and has given me a new way of thinking about my research and how to understand the end-user. Now we can fine tune the next steps,” said Dr Xing, adding that the CRCLCL has provided his team with invaluable connections with industry.

CSIRO Learning and Development Consultant Emma Chang said a common barrier to utilisation is researchers finding a way to clearly define the problems their research is trying to address and who they are solving the problem for.

“This can limit their capacity to describe the vision they have for the impact of their research,” said Chang, adding that she was impressed by the effort CRCLCL researchers had put into rigorously testing and validating their research.

The CRCLCL supports more than 100 higher degree researchers and projects across Australia, all focused on quality low carbon research aimed at contributing a cumulative reduction in built environment carbon emissions of 10 megatonnes by 2020 and a projected economic benefit of over $684M to Australia by 2027.