The Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) was launched in January 2014 to recognise that impaired alertness due to sleep loss, untreated sleep disorders and body clock disruption is a significant societal and workplace problem. The Alertness CRC is working with ISCRR to develop research in this field.

The Alertness CRC is committed to maximising alertness in the workplace by promoting the prevention and control of sleep loss and sleep disorders, and by developing new tools and products for individuals and organisations to improve alertness, productivity and safety.

The Alertness CRC has brought together expert knowledge, state of the art technologies and effective translation pathways from industry, government and university.

Aside from ISCRR, the Alertness CRC has partnered with 25 other organisations including regulatory agencies TAC and WorkSafe, as well as technology companies, insurance industry and safety sensitive employment sectors such as healthcare, mining and transport.

Professor Shantha Rajaratnam from the Monash School of Psychological Sciences, leads a research program focusing on developing and verifying new technologies and biomarkers to measure alertness accurately and predict future critical lapses before poor alertness impairs safety and productivity at work.

Other research focuses on developing, testing and validating new tools to improve alertness in the workplace. Some of the tools include smart lighting solutions, dynamic shift scheduling systems and personalised sleep health management that will help identify and determine more effective treatment for a range of sleep disorders.

Research teams are based at Monash University, the Austin Hospital and the Institute for Brain and Sleep as well as University of Sydney, the Woolcock Medical Research Institute and Flinders University.

The Alertness CRC is funded by partner contributions and funds made available through the Federal Department of Industry and Science.

Where to now?

Research in this area is ongoing. Watch this space for updates, or go to the Alertness CRC website to read more.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject, ISCRR recently concluded a Clinical Effectiveness Review investigating hypnosedatives and their impact on anxiety, insomnia and muscle spasm, and created an evidence map.