National Innovation and Science Agenda underpinned by research capability

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A blueprint has been launched to encourage future investment decisions in research infrastructure.  The Australian Government has funded it to help position researchers with better accessibility to world-class infrastructure.

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The commitment to prioritise research infrastructure needs will roll out over the next 10 years. And it all starts with the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. Over 300 written submissions were received from all over Australia in the first stage alone.

Science & research underpins an innovative society

By supporting areas of research, science and innovation, Australia can achieve ‘the greatest long-term benefit and foster strategic international partnerships.’

Australia has progressively built upon breakthroughs such as fabrication at the micro and nano scales, environmental monitoring and modelling, data platforms, the design and development of complex instrumentation, quantum computation, and high-throughput chemistry.

The Roadmap aims to continue to transform our economic opportunity through a greater commitment to research. Alongside the new Roadmap, the Government has also increased its funding for the existing National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) projects, the Australian Synchrotron, and the SKA.

Key focus areas of the plan include:

  • Digital data & eResearch platforms
  • Platforms for humanities, arts & social sciences (HASS)
  • Characterisation
  • Advanced fabrication & manufacturing
  • Astronomy & advanced physics
  • Environmental systems
  • Biosecurity
  • Complex biology
  • Therapeutic development

Skills and career development

Strong mathematical capabilities continue to be an important, yet scarce, resource. And as the complexity of research methods and technologies continue to advance, deep technical and commercial skills will grow in importance.

There are programmes available to address this, including the EMBL Australia Partnership PhD Program, the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) Technology Ambassador Fellows Program, and the International Ocean Discovery Program.

As the complexity of the research methods and technologies to undertake ground breaking research grows, advanced mathematics continues to be an important and scarce resource.

On the cusp of extraordinary technological change

There are dozens of programmes available via the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) to help bring the next age of economic growth in Australia.

$25 million is being injected into the development of silicon quantum computing technology, through the Centre of Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T). This investment is part of a $70 million alliance with the University of NSW, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Telstra.

$33.7 million of which is Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, to bring the nation to the world stage for quantum computing research – with a flourishing quantum technology ecosystem.

One of the many other NISA programmes available include pioneering movements in the cyber security sector. Businesses can access $30 million of investment from 2018 to 2020. This is in line with the expansion of the global cyber security market – that’s expected to grow to $100 billion in the next three years.

Read more about the Cyber Security Strategy to learn about the 33 new initiatives.

Other areas of focus include Employee Share Schemes, $5 billion in digital services like the Digital Marketplace, and $13 million for Opportunities for Women in STEM. There are opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs, small business, youth, researchers, and investors.

If you would like to know more about new innovative initiatives and strategies building upon capability please contact Wendy Perry at wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au.

February 2017

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