R&D spend by government at lowest level since mid-80s

The level of R&D spending by the federal government as a proportion of its budget spend is at a 30-year-low, according to a new analysis.

A Fairfax Media reading of science and innovation spending finds that these equal 2.2 per cent of total budget spend, the lowest level since 1984-5.

It was the third year in a row that R&D had decreased either in terms of GDP or budget spend.

The public R&D spend had grown at 2.2 per cent of the budget since 1995-6, far outstripped by areas including transport and housing (growing at 23.5 and 6.6 per cent respectively).

Andrew Holmes, president of the Australian Academy of Science, said investment in research, especially applied research, led to high returns in productivity growth.

This was increasingly important as the economy transitioned.

"If we don't strategically invest in science and research, we'll be ill-prepared for future challenges whilst other nations are powering ahead of us reaping the rewards of increased scientific investment," he told Fairfax.

Image: http://wbj.pl/

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