The National Science Statement released today by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, is an important step in establishing a framework that recognises science as underpinning Australia’s future.
Vicki Thomson, Chief Executive of the Group of Eight (Go8) says she is pleased the key activities of Go8 universities are supported in the statement.
“The statement highlights the need to back basic research despite its complex, long-term and uncertain outcomes as it delivers not only paradigm shifting breakthroughs, but also significant spillover benefits to the economy and the highest social returns for public investment in research and development,” she said
“Such research has long been a core Go8 mission, with our universities undertaking nearly $3 billion of basic research annually,” said Ms Thomson. “Similarly, acknowledgement in the statement of the need to support the full range of research from basic to applied, and importantly university-industry collaboration and the integration of science research with Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, is an important recognition for the Go8 of areas in which its members consistently lead the invaluable contribution of the university sector to the nation.”
Ms Thomson said that it was however critical that the Government followed the statement with action. “Such policy commitment stands for little if it is not backed by long term sustainable funding,” she said. “It also is essential it has a parallel Government commitment to give the policy settings the required time, without political interference, to deliver results.”
“The Go8 considers it is also vital that, in light of the statement’s commitments, the Minister works to ensure the reclamation of EIF monies for research infrastructure funding, and reform of the R&D Tax Incentive to facilitate greater engagement of business with the research sector.”
Contact: Vicki Thomson Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472