Launching Australia’s National Science Statement at the National Press Club today, Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Arthur Sinodinos noted that lengthy research timeframes require long-range funding.
“Breakthroughs happen when researchers are given the certainty to pursue their work with sustained focus over long periods of time,” said Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson applauded the science statement, which will guide efforts to take Australian science to the next level.
The statement notes that uncertain funding of scientific research can lead to “suboptimal outcomes, wasted resources and opportunities being missed.”
“More than three quarters of university research is in STEM disciplines and much of Australia’s scientific research is conducted in universities. That’s why universities are so central to the Government’s commitment to science,” Ms Robinson said.
In his speech, the Minister also acknowledged the important role that universities play in Australia’s transition to the new economy. He noted universities were particularly key as many regional economies reshape their industrial base.
In Question Time yesterday, the Minister assured the Senate that the research infrastructure roadmap “will have real money behind it to help complement the work we have done on the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy”.
Universities Australia once again called on the Federal Government to retain the Education Investment Fund (EIF), which is the last remaining source of funding for university infrastructure in Australia.
The Minister also acknowledged Universities Australia Chair Professor Barney Glover’s recent National Press Club address, saying he strongly agreed with Professor Glover’s argument for the enduring value of expertise in public debate.