Australian researchers will help turn science fiction into science fact by harnessing technology that will lead to ultra-fast, light-based WiFi and real-time holographic displays.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan today announced the Morrison Government was providing $34.9 million to establish a research centre to develop new technologies that will harness meta-optics.

The centre will translate its research into innovative technologies to be used in transport, health, security, defence, agriculture, entertainment and education. The results will benefit Australian society, drive productivity improvements and create jobs.

The Australian Researc h Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems will be led by Professor Dragomir Neshev and based at the Australian National University.

“This Centre of Excellence will bring together world-leaders in science, technology and engineering to deliver research that will underpin future technologies,” Mr Tehan said.

“The centre will also be an incubator for outstanding young innovators to be future leaders in the sector.

“Our Government is investing in centres to conduct cutting-edge research that will create the jobs of the future, drive productivity gains and benefit our economy.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the Centre of Excellence.

“This type of cutting-edge technology has the potential to make a real-world difference, as well as helping industry to grow and create new jobs,” Ms Andrews said.

“The Morrison Government knows technology will be a key driver to continue our 28 years of uninterrupted economic growth, which will improve the quality of Australian lives and generate new local jobs.”

Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said Canberra continued to benefit from the Morrison Government, from investment in research and our health system, right through to infrastructure.

“Today’s announcement builds on our Governments’ already massive investment in our city,” Senator Seselja said.

“With more than $800 million in investment for infrastructure and institutions in the ACT in the last two years alone, I am proud to be part of a government investing in Canberra.” 

The Australian National University will collaborate with experts at four Australian universities and 20 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, Asia and America. Together they will provide an additional $35.4 million in cash and in-kind support to the centre.

More information about the ARC Centres of Excellence program is on the ARC website.