The Turnbull Government has announced an additional $16 million for 10 critical research projects that will generate meaningful social and economic benefits for all Australians in areas including urban infrastructure, bioscience, telecommunications and health.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the investment from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Agility Fund would help unlock Australia’s potential as an innovation nation by “backing work that offers real and tangible benefits for Australians from all walks of life”.
“Homes, hospitals, farms and fishing trawlers are just some of the places set to see benefits from the research these new facilities will deliver,” Minister Birmingham said.
“From areas as diverse as microscopy and marine science to ion acceleration and veterinary science, the Coalition’s $16 million additional investment in 10 research projects highlights our commitment to ensuring Australia has the support it needs for research and innovation.
“Our commitments stand in stark contrast to Labor which in government announced $6.6 billion worth of cuts from higher education and research and left major research infrastructure without funding, like NCRIS, which jeopardised the jobs of 1,700 highly skilled critical researchers.”
The additional $16 million funding comes on top of the $150 million of indexed investment for ongoing operations that we committed through the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Minister Birmingham said that the Coalition had taken an holistic approach to research by encouraging collaboration with industry and business to focus on being more responsive to the needs and priorities of our society and economy.
“Australia needs a coordinated and focused approach to research priorities that are targeted at those things that make a difference to Australia and generate meaningful social and economic benefits,” Minister Birmingham said.
“That’s why our National Innovation and Science Agenda outlined sharper incentives in research funding that reward research excellence and partnership with industry.
“In May we committed $163 million to 258 new research projects that have been selected based on how they map to the challenges Australia faces.”
Minister Birmingham was joined at the announcement by the country’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO who was in Adelaide as part of a nationwide consultation trip to develop the priorities for Australian research.
“The work Dr Finkel and his Expert Working Group of researchers, stakeholders and business leaders are doing is critically important to develop a new roadmap for NCRIS and direction for research and innovation for the next decade,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The Expert Working Group has already made great progress and their work will ensure Australia has clear research priorities so that our universities and institutions can work together to tackle the challenges we face across the country.”