The report shows that advances made in physical and mathematical sciences over the last 20 years contributed $145 billion a year to the Australian economy. When indirect benefits were added this jumped to $292 billion a year accounting for 22 per cent of economic activity, seven per cent of total Australian employment (about 760,000) jobs and exports worth around $74 billion a year.
“The findings of the report are further evidence of the essential role played by research, innovation and science in underpinning Australia’s future economic prosperity as global competition intensifies”, said Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson.
“As we have seen around the world, investing in research, science and innovation is essential for securing the life-changing discoveries, jobs, industries and start-up companies of the future.”
Ms Robinson said it was critical that universities were supported to continue delivering research.
“Our universities are at the core of Australia’s research effort and it is imperative that the important contribution research and innovation makes to our future is supported by a sustainable long-term higher education funding model”, Ms Robinson said.
Universities Australia firmly supports the Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb’s call today for support for both applied and pure research.
“Professor Chubb has made the case once again for support for both ‘curiosity driven research’ and applied research, calling for the framing of national science and research priorities”, Ms Robinson said.