A culture of innovation

We seek to change the world to benefit society, the economy and future generations.

World-leading research and innovation

UNSW is one of Australia’s leading research universities. We have one of the country’s largest research communities with over 4,000 dedicated research students and over 50 established research, community and program centres. Our researchers receive some of the highest amounts of Australian Research Council funding in Australia and we leverage some of the country's strongest industry links.

We are invested in meeting tomorrow’s challenges. We’re an acknowledged world leader in photovoltaics, HIV/AIDS research and quantum computing. We have a reputation for international research excellence in:


Some of our achievements

Recycling toxic materials

Can you turn toxic waste into 'green materials'? That's what Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla has achieved. Her technology has helped to recycle more than 2 million tyres. She is also devising cost-effective solutions for e-waste.

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Solar kings

UNSW has been a world leader in solar photovoltaics for more than 30 years. We hold the world record for the best conversion rate of a solar cell (greater than 40%) and we are investigating the use of silicon over other expensive materials.

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World’s biggest computer

The biggest quantum computer on earth will be based on single atom engineering and made up of silicon components. True? Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons and her team think so. In fact, they are leading a world race.

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Water management

UNSW research has influenced a multi-billion-dollar water management plan for the Murray-Darling Basin’s iconic rivers. These rivers support a third of Australian agricultural production and precious wetlands.

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HIV treatment

Since diagnosing Australia’s first case of HIV infection in 1984, Scientia Professor David Cooper has been involved with the development of every existing combination ART for HIV on the market.

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Artificial intelligence

UNSW's Creative Robotics Lab and the Fuji Xerox Research Technology Group have developed a social robot designed to promote creativity and collaboration in the workplace

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The innovation precinct

We aim to be the leading Australian destination for innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2016 we signed an unprecedented $100 million innovation partnership and launched the UNSW Torch Innovation Precinct at our Kensington campus. It's the first of its kind in Australian universities and will see a significant boost in research and development at UNSW. 

Find out more about our Torch Innovation Precinct

In 2015, we launched the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, a platform for nurturing student innovation. Students from all faculties can design, experiment and build their ideas with guidance from visionaries and corporate partners. The MCIC features a state-of-the-art 'makerspace' with 3D printers, laser cutters and a multifunctional workspace where students are encouraged to design, experiment and build physical prototypes. 

Find out more about the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre

Home to entrepreneurs

We have the biggest student startup program in Australia, providing support for entrepreneurial activities and access to strategic industry partners within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. More than 100 startups per year grow out of UNSW’s coordinated programs, including Founders 10x Accelerator identifying high-impact student/alumni startups for a 10-week intensive program, and New Wave Founders addressing the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

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