The Group of Eight (Go8)'s publication, Thinking Ahead: An Investment Worth Making, is a selection of the research undertaken by the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Future Fellows at the Go8 universities.
The prestigious ARC Future Fellowships, introduced in 2009, provide support for outstanding midcareer researchers. The scheme aims to attract top research talent to this country and to help us retain our own high achieving researchers.
The Go8's submission to the Federal Government's Review of the National Innovation System includes over 20 recommendations designed to ensure that Australia's research and research training systems are capable of underpinning a dynamic economy and society. The Go8 submission stresses the importance of basic research and business / community / university collaboration to innovation, but suggests that arguably the most important function of universities is the cultivation of talent in an environment that values intellectual curiosity. Key recommendations of the Go8's submission include:
Australia’s universities are doing reasonably well on the published world rankings. However, the indicators used in all the major university rankings are necessarily lagged and the earlier dominance of universities of the developed economies of North America, Britain and Europe will decline over time. Australian universities may appear to be improving against this backdrop of decline, whereas they may well be slipping behind the emergent Asian leaders.