Government boosts R&D funding by almost 50%

THE AUSTRALIAN government is aiming to boost its support for research, science and innovation, with a new committee to guide its research investment.

According to Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr, the Labor Government has increased support for research, science and innovation by 43 percent to $9.4 billion this financial year.

This claim was made during the release of the Focusing Australia’s Publicly Funded Research Review.

Senator Carr said Australia’s research system is highly productive and is generally performing well.

“But we can’t rest…we need to make sure that our investment in research is flowing into and driving the rest of the innovation agenda,” Senator Carr said.

The review made four major recommendations that have been accepted by the government.

A new Commonwealth committee, chaired by former Chief Scientist Professor Chubb, will provide the Government with integrated and strategic advice on future research investments. Initially, the committee will develop a national research investment plan.

Senator Carr’s Innovation department will consult with stakeholders to update and refine National Research Priorities (NRPs) to keep them relevant as broad statements of the Government’s aspirations for publicly funded research.

The Government will undertake a feasibility study on possible approaches for developing a mechanism for evaluating the wider economic, social and environmental benefits of research.

Image: Ford Australia’s Geelong manufacturing plant, sourced from Caradvice.com.au

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