The Government today unveiled its response to the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap and funding for a number of national research facilities, including super computing infrastructure, advanced microscopic manufacturing facilities, and the deep ocean research vessel Investigator.
Universities Australia’s Chief Executive Designate Catriona Jackson said this investment would give nearly 40,000 researchers access to state-of-the-art equipment that is crucial to breakthroughs.
“This is a smart investment. It keeps us in the race on the kinds of research that are that fundamental to our economic and social prosperity,” Ms Jackson said.
“These facilities are the backbone of our research effort and it is great to see their future so strongly backed by Government,” she said.
“Funding gives researchers access to world-leading facilities so they can find clever ways to create new hi-tech Australian industries, cure diseases, and lift yields for our farmers.”
“Research and innovation supports job creation in almost every sector of the economy, this is a wise investment in our productivity and economic growth.”
“Staying at the cutting-edge requires ongoing investment. Having a plan for research infrastructure over the next decade displays a welcome commitment to long-term thinking.”
The Government accepted most recommendations from the infrastructure roadmap, developed by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, including prioritising nine national research areas.
“We applaud the Government’s decision to listen carefully to the expert advice on the roadmap”, Ms Jackson said.
“We thank Dr Finkel and his expert working group for the outstanding work on the roadmap and Education Minister Simon Birmingham and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash for delivering investment on the vision for Australia’s future research infrastructure.”
Universities Australia cautions once again about the proposed closure of the $3.8 billion Education Investment Fund — the last remaining capital fund in higher education.
“It would make no sense to give with one hand and take with the other on vital research facilities.” she said.