Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory to receive $1.18M from the ARC Linkage Projects scheme

The Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL) received yet another boost with the award of \$1.18 million through the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme. 252 research projects were awarded a total of \$86.9 million dollars under the scheme.

The SUPL laboratory will be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and will host Australia’s first-ever direct detection dark matter experiment, aiming to tackle the next major challenge for particle physics.

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, announced earlier this week that the SUPL project will receive \$1.18 million over a period of 5 years to assist with the personnel costs of the underground integrated laboratory.

Project leader Professor Elisabetta is thrilled with the news and says

“It is extremely exciting that we are being given the opportunity to show how fundamental research, industry and the local community can all work together to put Australia on the forefront of dark matter research. This combined effort between the Northern Grampians Shire Council, Stawell Gold Mine, ANSTO and the INFN (Italy), will also give back to the local economy to benefit everyone. It is this kind of relationship that is instrumental in the success of large-scale experiments.”

This funding, along with \$3.5 million from the State and Federal governments will allow Australian researchers to build up their presence in the international search for dark matter.

The project will not only create new research opportunities here in Australia, but also increase opportunities in education, outreach and hospitality for the local community.