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Research and Innovation


Industry collaboration

We have a long history of collaborating with the Northern Territory Government (NTG) to deliver benefits for the Territory.

By sharing objectives, we strengthen links between our organisations and the community.

Partnerships between CDU and the NTG aim to achieve outcomes including:

  • increased CDU student enrolments
  • increased participation in CDU by Indigenous Territorians
  • building local teaching and research staff in the Northern Territory
  • building local capacity to meet the needs of the NTG in areas including but not limited to research, evaluation, education and training
  • shared human resources
  • leveraging research investment from sources external to the Northern Territory, such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council
  • partnerships with Territory businesses to increase research and development investment
  • shared infrastructure.

We work closely with industry to ensure that research is developed and delivered to address industry challenges and that it offers innovative and localised solutions.

Fire management research
Indigenous ranger in front of fire in the bush

CDU collaborative research with CSIRO and Indigenous People from across north Australia led to improved fire management practices spanning more than 300,000 square kilometres of Northern Australia.

This research has generated 5.3 million carbon credit units and $16 million in annual carbon payments through sales to the Australian Emissions Reduction Fund. This was achieved through CDU’s development of a novel savanna burning technique that reduces carbon emissions and results in carbon abatement offsets.

Carbon emission calculations are based on CDU’s invention of an accurate measuring tool for fire activity over large parcels of land. Both the tool and the technique are included in Australian Federal legislation on Carbon Credits Methodology Determinations.

Biological science research

CDU’s research in biological science has contributed to the sustainability of the $200 million NT fishing industry, enabled the NT Government to respond rapidly to microbial threats and industrial pollution.

Our research in this area has also provided evidence for Traditional Owners to safely maintain traditional harvesting practices and generate income. This has been achieved through CDU’s primary research into the protection of fish stocks from human threats such as overfishing and industrial pollution.

This research is embedded in national conservation management through the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Indigenous partnerships

CDU’s well-established connections with Indigenous communities are guided by careful protocols to maintain trust and two-way communication. Examples of our collaborative approach include:

Larrakia people had concerns about the potential health implications of industrial contamination of traditional food resources in the Darwin area. CDU worked with and trained Larrakia people to select monitoring sites based on traditional harvesting patterns and shellfish collection.

Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours is a 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned business in operation for over 10 years. They deliver an authentic cultural and nature-based experience that draws on local knowledge and history. Pudakul operates from Aboriginal lands on the Adelaide River floodplain, an area where much native rice is grown. CDU researchers work with Pudakul to develop rice commercialisation trials and facilities for assessing market interest.

Cooperative Research Centres

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program is an Australian Government Initiative administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The CRC program supports Australian industries’ ability to compete and produce. This is done by helping industry partner with the research sector to solve industry-identified issues.

Charles Darwin University is an active partner in CRC-P, CRC Northern Australia, iMove CRC, CRC Future Food Systems.  The University has previously participated in CRCs for Plant Biosecurity, Desert Knowledge, Bushfires, Sustainable Tourism, Remote Economic Participation, Tropical Savannas Management and Aboriginal Health. 

These CRCs had a range of successful outcomes and have now concluded or evolved into Institutes and the like.

Australian Research Council supported partnerships

The Australian Research Council's (ARC) Linkage Projects Scheme provides an opportunity for Organisations to partner with Charles Darwin University to leverage Commonwealth funding for high quality, relevant research that involves risk or innovation.

Benefits include:

  • access up to four times your cash contribution through Commonwealth funding to help solve your research problem
  • demonstration of your organisation's involvement in formal, independent, peer-reviewed  research
  • staff development through direct collaboration
  • recruitment opportunities from the next generation of high quality, highly trained University research scholars
  • access to leading edge research expertise, knowledge, facilities, laboratories and equipment
  • possible eligibility for Australian Government Research and Development tax concessions
  • method of funding Research and Development beyond testing phase.
Business development and partnerships

 Our Business Development and Partnership team develops collaborative partnerships that deliver solutions to real-world challenges. Uniquely placed as the Northern Territory’s only university, CDU and CDU TAFE can provide innovation, research and training solutions tailored to our partners' specifications.

Meet our key people

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