Monash Faculty of IT success with ARC Discovery Projects

In the latest round of funding announced by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Faculty of Information Technology (IT) has been recognised in the field of blockchain technology and recordkeeping informatics.

The Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced $84 million for 200 new research projects under the Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) scheme and Monash University received a total of $7,076,818 for 17 awards across the university.

The scheme aims to support researchers in their early careers and each DECRA recipient will receive salary support for three years.

Researchers in the Faculty of IT, Dr Viviane Hessami and Dr Jiangshan Yu, were both recognised for their diverse research areas.

Research Assistant with PROTIC 2 in the Department of Human Centred Computing, Dr Viviane Hessami, will be awarded $399,429 to empower rural communities in developing countries through recordkeeping.

This project aims to enable more effective and culturally-sensitive information dissemination and digital preservation programs, based on the information needs and preferences of people living in rural communities in developing countries. The expected outcome is to provide economic and social benefits to rural communities by empowering them to preserve information in ways that meet their personal and community needs.

Associate Director (Research) at the Monash Blockchain Technology Centre, Dr Jiangshan Yu, will receive $408,000 in funding to address the security and scalability challenges that limit blockchain adoption. This project is also the first Blockchain DECRA in Australia.

Existing blockchain systems are not scalable and can be vulnerable to cyber attacks, this project will aim to improve security systems by implementing practical solutions for self-adaptive, secure and scalable blockchains. In turn, improving user confidence and expanding the capacity of blockchain applications.

The applications of blockchain systems vary across a number of industries including financial, digital health and supply chains. A secure and scalable blockchain system has the capability to provide enormous job opportunities for Australian businesses. In the case of supply chains, blockchain technology is able to track the origin of individual agricultural products from the point of production to the ultimate end consumer. Helping minimise billions associated with food fraud and saving on infrastructure costs such as cross-border payments, security trading and regulatory compliance.

Deputy Dean (Research) in the Faculty of IT, Professor Maria Garcia de la Banda said the funding recognises the outstanding efforts and diverse research from across the Faculty.

“This year’s highly competitive DECRA awards highlight two areas of research that are essential in shaping society and creating positive community impact. The recent accomplishments of Jiangshan and Viviane identify the importance of achieving social good through advanced IT solutions,” said Professor Garcia de la Banda.

A full list of the 2021 ARC DECRA recipients and their projects is available on the ARC website.