The LGNSW Research and Innovation Fund operated between 2018–2021, providing funding to support new areas of research, policy development and innovation for the advancement of local government in NSW.
The intent was to leverage the fund to stimulate and test new ideas with an evidence-based approach, promote informed discussion and debate, and encourage the development of research capacity in the sector.
Below are the projects supported by the fund.
In 2020/21 LGNSW partnered with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (The Department) Climate Resilience and Net Zero Emissions Branch to support projects that deliver net zero emissions outcomes as part of the NSW Councils Net Zero Emissions program.
In September 2020, NSW councils, Regional Organisations of Councils and Joint Organisations were invited to propose applied research projects that would help drive the transition to net zero emissions and contribute towards emission reduction targets as laid out in the NSW Government’s Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020 - 2030.
To be considered for funding, projects needed to develop new knowledge, be aligned with existing strategies to reduce emissions, attract further monetary or in-kind contributions from councils, have broad sector application, preferably involve metropolitan and regional council collaboration and partnership with a university.
The Department contributed more than $52,000 towards the fund and, in December 2020, three very different projects were awarded.
- Creating a Spark – energy sharing communities (Campbelltown City Council): This project developed guidelines for NSW local governments and the development sector that provide practical advice and solutions for enabling shared locally generated, low cost, carbon neutral precincts for NSW communities. Check out the Creating a Spark website provided by project partner, Landcom.
- To investigate the stacked benefits and scalability of Vehicle-to-Grid charging for council’s fleet vehicles (Lake Macquarie City Council): This project set out to procure, install and trial the integration of multiple V2G chargers and vehicles under a variety of operational scenarios to provide a roadmap for councils to invest in the electrification of fleet. Read Council's case study and the preliminary energy analysis.
- Closing the Gap on Food Waste (Bathurst Regional Council): This project trialled new models of domestic and commercial food waste collection to divert food waste from limited landfill space. The Closing the Gap on Food Waste report details the outcomes of a trial into alternative Food Organic Garden Organic operational services.
All projects were completed by June 2023.
Download a full description of these projects
2019/2020 Fund Recipients
The LGNSW Board allocated $50,000 to the Research and Innovation Fund in 2019/20. Councils were invited to propose research projects that had broad sector application and could attract university and other research partners. Fifteen (15) Expressions of Interest were received from Joint Organisations and metropolitan and regional councils and two projects were selected.
1. Move my Way – Giving the community real-time data to make better informed transport choices (Willoughby City Council): Project completed.
The primary objective was to create a data portal enabling the aggregation of fragmented datasets managed by government, industry and other data custodians and making data available to the community. The aim was to enable data sharing so users and the software development community could explore new insights and visualisation of data to improve parking and wayfinding within Chatswood CBD as a demonstration of how this could be rolled out across other councils.
For more information about the project objectives, outcomes and reflections, see Move My Way – A Resource for Local Government.
2. Developing a Maximum Benefit Framework for Urban Greening (Central Coast Council): To be completed in 2022/23
The project will develop a maximum benefit matrix for selecting the most suitable trees and shrubs to plant through urban greening projects. This relates to effective place-based planning based on leaf flammability, drought resistance, community acceptance and biodiversity benefits.
Download a full description of these projects
In 2018/19 the Research and Innovation Fund allocated $50,000 to research on the introduction of recycled materials in roads and pavements. Conducted by the Waste Transformation Research Hub at the University of Sydney, this research has produced a guide to promote national uniformity and good practice in the specification and application of material reuse in roads and pavements.
Download the Recycled Materials in Roads and Pavement Guide for Councils and Technical Review.
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