AUT secures $13M in MBIE Endeavour Fund

18 Sep, 2019
 
Andrew Lowe & Gail Pacheco
Dr Andrew Lowe and Dr Gail Pacheco

AUT researchers have secured $13m in funding through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund.

This funding announcement follows hot on the heels of AUT’s move up 50 places in world university rankings, seeing it cemented as one of the world’s top teaching and research universities. AUT is now in the top 300 universities in the world and in the top 50 for research citations.

Dr Andrew Lowe, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering in the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, has secured a Research Programme Bid worth $8m and a Smart Ideas project worth $1m.

His Research Programme Bid will deliver multiple, new technologies to make possible easy-to-use, long-term, wearable sensors. This will benefit not only healthcare and fitness industries, where the measurement of high-quality electrical signals from the brain, muscles, heart and elsewhere is crucial, but also consumer entertainment.

Dr Lowe’s Smart Ideas project is a new measurement principle for accurate non-invasive blood pressure. The principle is based on well-established physics and isn’t affected by differences in people’s arms. This will significantly reduce the error in BP measurement for any individual and should greatly improve BP measurements used throughout healthcare.

Dr Gail Pacheco, Professor of Economics and Director of the NZ Work Research Institute, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law has secured a Programme Bid worth $4m.

This research explores life trajectories for 1.3 million adults living with low literacy and/or numeracy skills in Aotearoa NZ. Courses of intervention will be analysed by tracking individuals’ economic and social outcomes over time and at a population level. The power of this study lies in the mixed method approach that uses disparate administrative and qualitative data, creating a benchmark evidence-base for policy and practice.

Complementary qualitative work with low skill groups, especially Māori and Pacific Peoples, will provide a more in-depth and contextual understanding of the obstacles faced, enablers, and value systems attached to intervention participation.

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