A NSW Government website


NSW Research Receives $15 Million Funding Boost


A new research facility to help tackle the housing crisis is one of 10 projects sharing in a multi-million-dollar funding injection into the state’s strategic research infrastructure.

The Housing Analytics Lab (HAL) will be established at UNSW Sydney’s City Futures Research Centre to bring together researchers, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector to co-design solutions for Australia’s housing crisis.

The HAL will centralise digital technology and housing data, providing housing experts with the tools to guide housing policy to match NSW’s needs.

Some of the HAL’s digital tools will include:

  • A database with a map dashboard of all historic and live planning approvals across NSW and Australia
  • An AI classifier of planning assessments to understand spatial clusters of current and future housing development activity
  • A virtual Housing Assistant powered by generative AI and trained on existing housing literature to answer questions such as what are the policy options for delivering affordable housing in different contexts?

The HAL is funded through the NCRIS Support Program, which is a competitive program to enable the delivery of, and equitable access to, NSW-based essential research and innovation infrastructure that is funded under the Commonwealth Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

A total of $15.2 million over two years from the NSW Government’s NCRIS Support Program has been invested in cutting-edge research and development facilities, including the awarding of over $3.2 million to the NSW node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, as well as $2.15 million to Microscopy Australia headquartered at the University of Sydney and $1.9 million to the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

The Commonwealth Government announced $650 million over four years to fund 80 projects across 15 facilities under the NCRIS. All projects align to the Commonwealth Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. Eight of these facilities will also receive funding from the NSW Government under the NCRIS Support Program to support 10 projects. Together, this increases the scale of infrastructure investment and capability in NSW.

Since the Commonwealth Government established the NCRIS Program in 2006-07, the NSW Government has now provided more than $65 million to NSW-based NCRIS facilities through the Office of the Chief Scientist & Engineer.

A recent return-on-investment analysis by Lateral Economics estimated the benefits derived from NCRIS at $7.50 for every dollar of investment.

Further details of the 10 NSW NCRIS projects receiving funding can be found at the NCRIS Support Program webpage.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Hugh Durrant-Whyte said:

"We recognise the vital role NCRIS facilities play in supporting the state's research and development sector. These facilities enable the most advanced research and commercialisation opportunities to happen right here in NSW. These activities are a critical driver for innovation in the state's economy.”

Director of UNSW Sydney’s City Futures Research Centre, Professor Chris Pettit said:

“As Australia grapples with a housing crisis, academics, government, industry and communities need access to the best available data, analytics and insights to inform our policy and decision making.”

“Making the housing analytical toolkit our researchers have been developing accessible through the new lab will mean we can co-design and test innovative housing solutions.”


Bruce Ritchie | OCSE | 0429 412 426