In an era of rapid change and financial constraints, it is more important than ever to strengthen the foundations on which science, research and innovation are built.
Science and research produce breakthroughs and discoveries that lead to the products, processes, knowledge and jobs that maintain Australia’s place as an advanced first-world economy.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in June last year that:
The Coalition understands that science and research are the foundation for Australia’s future advancement in manufacturing, innovation and in a range of industries from pharmaceuticals to telecommunications.
The Coalition will provide the long-term, stable policies and vision that our nation’s scientists and researchers need to excel in their work.
The Australian Government’s Plan for Real Action promises to unleash Australia’s potential through a five-pillar economy. Each of these five pillars is dependent on long-term investment in science and research to increase productivity and ensure strong economic growth.
The Research Alliance calls on the Prime Minister to bolster the foundations, to provide the stable, planned investment in the ideas and discoveries that will create a prosperous future.
In July 2013, Australia’s research and science community formed the Research Alliance to present a united voice on the importance of a strategic national research policy to build a stronger, smarter Australia.
The Alliance is committed to seven fundamental principles:
- Investing strategically and sustainably.
- Building our research workforce – getting and keeping the best.
- Building a productive system and getting the most out of it.
- Being among and working with the world’s best.
- Bringing industry and academia together.
- Expanding industry research.
- Investing in our best research and our best researchers.
The Alliance supports the need for carefully considered investment of finite resources in times of economic stress.
We stand ready to work with government and industry to carefully manage what we have and to plan for the next decade and beyond.
But it is important to understand that Australian science and research does not work as a series of disconnected parts. It is a well-integrated and interconnected ecosystem. Australia must maintain a healthy balance between fundamental and applied research, medical and non-medical, the hard technical disciplines and the social sciences and humanities. We do need to maintain a strong connection between the research sector and the industry sector and the wider community.
The Research Alliance supports calls from the Business Council of Australia and the Chief Scientist of Australia for a research and innovation strategy – a three-way partnership between government, business and the nation’s researchers for a more productive and innovative nation. The nation needs a robust framework on which critical projects can be built, very costly research infrastructure can be best utilised and the best return on investment achieved from our precious resources.
The Research Alliance is interested in the big picture for Australia, and the central role science and all other forms of research can play in a flourishing future.
The Research Alliance is committed to a set of fundamental principles that will secure a smarter, more productive and resilient future for Australia.