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Launch of the South Australian Research Facility (SARF)

08 February 2008, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The South Australian Research Facility (SARF) was launched yesterday by the Hon Paul Caica MP, South Australian Minister for Science and Information Economy.

SARF is the South Australian node of the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility, the peak Australian facility for the nanometric analysis of the structure and chemistry of materials in physical and biological systems.

In launching the facility, the Minister also unveiled the latest AMMRF flagship instrument situated at the University of Adelaide. The state-of-the-art instrument is a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope. The $3.5M instrument is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will enable researchers to explore the nanoscale (1 billionth of a metre)  in a wide variety of technology disciplines including defence, health, biotechnology, mining, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

The AMMRF was established under the Commonwealth Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), and is truly a national research facility with nodes at the University of Sydney (which also serves as the national headquarters), the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, the University of Western Australia, Australian National University, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia. The facility is funded by the Commonwealth Government through NCRIS and the State Governments of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

The facility unites microscopy and microanalysis centers at these universities into a single national network of laboratories, unified in terms of both equipment and research expertise. The AMMRF will provide new, state-of-the-art instruments that will be accessible by researchers from Australia on merit basis at nominal rates.

SARF is a collaboration between South Australia's three universities, the Ian Wark Research Institute at the University of South Australia, Flinders University's School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, and the University of Adelaide's Adelaide Microscopy.

Contact: Dr Miles Apperley, AMMRF General Manager, ph. 02 9351 2887.

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