“The position paper, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the National Interest: a Strategic Approach, released today by Professor Chubb, is an urgent call for action to secure Australia’s future in a world increasingly driven by research and innovation. It should be supported,” said Universities Australia’s Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
“It is important that all Australians understand we have no time to lose. We must not fall behind other countries which have recognised the central role research and innovation plays in international competitiveness in a fast-changing global economy.
“Universities look forward to working with the Chief Scientist and the government on turning the plan into reality,” Ms Robinson said.
The paper highlights the central importance of investment in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as in social sciences and humanities research and education.
“Universities Australia endorses the critical role played by STEM research and education in driving innovation and the paper’s acknowledgement of the importance of social sciences and humanities in understanding our world and influencing the effectiveness of STEM,” Ms Robinson said.
The crucial role played by innovation in lifting national productivity and the importance of improving links between public education and research and the private sector is highlighted in the paper.
“Professor Chubb’s proposal to establish a National Innovation Council aimed at developing strategies to accelerate the translation of ideas into marketable goods and services, is a key step in transforming the economy and building the knowledge-based industries of the future,” Ms Robinson said.
The Business Council of Australia’s Action Plan for Enduring Prosperity also released today, likewise recognises the need for such a body, calling for a National Innovation Council to be established and for the Chief Scientist’s national STEM strategy to be implemented.
The BCA highlights the critical role played by education and innovation in securing Australia’s future competitiveness and its ability to respond to trends shaping the economy and society in coming decades.
“It is important that the private and public sectors work together to make sure the right environment exists to encourage innovation, research and education are harnessed in the short and longer term to lift national productivity and economic prosperity and to understand and address the problems that face our communities,” Ms Robinson said.