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Policy powerhouse launches

Projects address critical national and international policy issues.

The University of Sydney has launched the Sydney Policy Lab with 14 projects aimed at addressing vital Australian and international policy issues.

Cybersecurity, housing, domestic violence, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the impact of mining and youth unemployment will all come under scrutiny in the Lab which has been established to drive creative and collaborative solutions to some of the major challenges of our time.

Fourteen research groups from across the University, funded with $330,000 of grants, have joined forces in the Lab with policy experts from industry, government, community groups and non-government organisations.

Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Sydney said, “The Sydney Policy Lab will be another extraordinary world-class multidisciplinary centre of the University, drawing on our range and depth of research excellence to address complex issues. It also speaks to our strategic focus on partnerships, in this case in a policy setting.”

At the launch – themed around the future of work, wellbeing and technology – more than 100 participants from a range of partner organisations will exchange ideas to shape the Lab’s future. Discussions will include the impact of automation and articial intelligence; ensuring equitable access to opportunities for marginalised and disadvantaged groups; legal implications of the changing nature of work and the future of school education.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said, “The inaugural projects were selected from 49 high-quality applications highlighting the excellent policy-focused work already underway at the University. 2017 is the ‘start-up’ phase for the Sydney Policy Lab testing our operating model and carving out space in the domestic and international policy arenas to make an impact.”

Mark Scott, Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, who will deliver the launch’s keynote address said, “The launch of the Sydney Policy Lab is timely and important. We need sharper thinking, smarter collaboration and the robust testing of ideas to come up with better solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing our society. It is wonderful the Lab will stimulate policy formation when some of our finest minds come together for the common good.”

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