Universities Australia today thanks outgoing Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, for his outstanding contribution to research, science, discovery and innovation in Australia.
Chair of Universities Australia, Professor Glyn Davis said, "Kim Carr would easily rate as one of the best Ministers ever to lead the research portfolio. His dedication and passion have been exceptional, and he truly understands the impact that the combination of research, industry and education has on a nation's productivity and potential.
"Minister Carr believes in the importance of research - for its capacity to expand knowledge, and for the spur innovation provides for so many fields of human endeavour. Research makes innovation possible, a point Kim Carr stressed in his work both as Shadow Minister and in Government.
"Since taking the reins in 2007, Minister Carr has introduced important initiatives within the portfolio aimed at stimulating and driving research and innovation within universities, government agencies, backyard garages, and importantly throughout industry.
"The unprecedented Commonwealth funding boost following the Cutler Review in 2008 stands as perhaps the most tangible confirmation of his commitment to the portfolio. While this injection received relatively little local media attention at the time, it was recognised throughout the world as a bold and most enviable announcement. It was evidence of an Australian Government focused on the nation's long-term future.
"Related initiatives, including the appointment of a full-time Chief Scientist, continued support for the CRC program, changes to research support, the establishment of Enterprise Connect and Commercialisation Australia and the ongoing support for the Australian Research Council are further indications of Kim Carr's passion and personal innovation.
"The sector is highly appreciative of the passion, knowledge and effort which Kim Carr has put into the science, research, discovery and innovation agenda.
"It is rare to see someone who loved his subject matter so much. We trust that his tremendous contributions to this portfolio will endure," Professor Davis concluded.