Research and Innovation Fund

About this 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.

2019/2020 Fund Recipients

The Board of LGNSW allocated $50,000 to the Research and Innovation Fund in 2019/20. Councils were invited in August 2019 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.

An Advisory Committee assessed these proposals, three projects were short-listed and all councils were invited to express their interest in collaborating as an industry partner.

Following this consultation, two projects were selected by the Committee for funding:

Move my Way – Giving the community real-time data to make better informed transport choices – Willoughby City Council

The project will use the Chatswood central business district as a living laboratory, deploying sensors to collect new data as well as collating existing data held by government, industry and the community. A local transport data community will be developed, with appropriate privacy and sharing policies to protect the rights of participants and the community.

The research project will create an open source, real time data catalogue and analytics toolkit. The project’s tools and products will enable better informed community choices that will help to reduce traffic congestion and promote alternative forms of transport. These tools and products can be used by multiple councils across NSW. Move my Way” will be a demonstration project on how other levels of government and the private sector can work with a Council to deliver community outcomes.

Developing a Maximum Benefit Framework for Urban Greening – Central Coast Council

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.

The outcome of this three year project will include: a list of suitable and appropriate native species for planting that benefit conservation of biodiversity and provide bushfire mitigation through the establishment of ember curtains; improved understanding of how to engage with the community for large-scale urban planting programs; reduce naturalisation to invasion pathways for ornamental plants; develop best practice climate change mitigation; provide a framework for involving volunteer ‘citizen scientist’ in real world research.

Download a full description of these projects.

Other Projects Supported by the Fund

In 2018/19 the Research and Innovation Fund allocated $50,000 to the conduct of sector-wide 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 will produce a Guide to promote national uniformity and good practice in the specification and application of material reuse in roads and pavements.

The guide will be released in August 2020.