The Turnbull Government has named the group of experts who will map out Australia’s research priorities over the coming decade.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the new Expert Working Group would help set the future direction of national research infrastructure after the Turnbull Government gave the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy $150 million a year of indexed funding certainty through the National Innovation and Science Agenda for the next 10 years – ending the frequent funding cliff Labor created.
Minister Birmingham said the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy is critical to Australia’s research community which, in turn, is critical to Australia’s future.
“The work of this eminent group of Australians will develop a roadmap to maintaining and expanding Australia’s world-class research capability,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to research excellence in Australia after Labor announced $6.6 billion cuts from higher education and research and left major research infrastructure without funding, like the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, which jeopardised the jobs of 1,700 highly skilled critical researchers.
“The Expert Working Group will consult widely with researchers, businesses and other stakeholders to develop a national ten year plan to underpin research and innovation at a national level and to identify future national research infrastructure priorities and areas for ongoing investment.
“Looking ahead, future National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy funding and investments will be guided by the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap that will be developed by the Expert Working Group under the guidance of Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO.”
Minister Birmingham said the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy supports national research infrastructure that provides services to over 35,000 researchers, both domestically and internationally, through 27 projects and facilities delivered at 222 institutions.
“Combined with guaranteed funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, this Roadmap will help retain and attract the best researchers to position Australia amongst the world’s other top research countries,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This next phase for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy is an important part of implementing our National Innovation and Science Agenda as our economy transitions from one reliant on mines to one focused on minds.”
The Expert Working Group members are:

• Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist (Chairman) 
• Professor Edwina Cornish, Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University
• Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, Chief Scientific Office and R&D Director, CSL Limited
• Professor Sandra Harding, Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University
• Ms Rosie Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, Australian National Fabrication Facility
• Professor Suzanne Miller, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Queensland Museum Network
• Dr Adi Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and
• Professor Andy Pitman, Director, ARC Centre for Excellence for Climate System Science

Professor Aidan Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Research Council and Professor Anne Kelso AO, Chief Executive Officer, National Health and Medical Research Council are ex-officio members of the Expert Working Group.

The Expert Working Group will identify the future direction of national research infrastructure by responding to the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap Terms of Reference.
The National Innovation and Science Agenda locked in funding for Australia’s core research infrastructure capabilities, including $150 million indexed per annum for the ongoing operational costs of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, $520 million over ten years for the Australian Synchrotron and $294 million as Australia’s commitment to the International Square Kilometre Array project.

The 2016-17 NCRIS guidelines and Expert Working Group’s Terms of Reference can be found here.

The Expert Working Group is expected to complete the Roadmap in late 2016.

NCRIS 2016-17 funding allocations by project 

Project  Lead Agent 2016?17 ($) 
Australian Animal Health Laboratory  CSIRO 1,482,000
Astronomy Australia  Astronomy Australia Ltd 8,817,000
Atlas of Living Australia CSIRO 4,696,000
Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility University of Sydney 3,633,000
Australian National Data Service Monash University 9,380,000
Australian National Fabrication Facility  Australian National Fabrication Facility Ltd 12,436,000
ANSTO Nuclear Science Facility  ANSTO 6,593,000
Australian Phenomics Network Australian National University 4,455,000
Australian Plant Phenomics Facility University of Adelaide 3,752,000 
Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility Australian National University 743,000
Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network University of Melbourne 2,121,000
AuScope  AuScope Ltd 7,430,000
Biofuels  AusBiotech Ltd 328,000
Bioplatforms Australia  Bioplatforms Australia Ltd 14,089,000
EMBL Associate Membership EMBL 4,100,000
Groundwater University of New South Wales 438,000
Heavy Ion Accelerators Australian National University 1,590,000
Integrated Marine Observing System University of Tasmania 14,243,000
National Computational Infrastructure Australian National University 5,491,000
National Deuteration Facility ANSTO 609,000
National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources University of Melbourne 5,041,000
National Imaging Facility University of Queensland 2,988,000
Pawsey High Performance Computing Centre CSIRO 5,782,000
Population Health Research Network University of Western Australia 4,355,000
Research Data Services University of Queensland 5,300,000
Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network University of Queensland 6,044,000
Translating Health Discoveries into Clinical Applications  Therapeutic Innovation Aust. Ltd 3,715,000
TOTAL NCRIS 27 PROJECTS  139,651,000
Agility Fund  10,349,000
TOTAL  150,000,000