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Additional funding for vital research



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SENATOR THE HON SIMON BIRMINGHAM Minister for Education and Training Senator for South Australia

27 July 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

Additional funding for vital research

The Turnbull Government has announced an additional $16 million for 10 critical research projects that will generate meaningful social and economic benefits for all Australians in areas including urban infrastructure, bioscience, telecommunications and health.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the investment from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Agility Fund would help unlock Australia’s potential as an innovation nation by “backing work that offers real and tangible benefits for Australians from all walks of life”.

“Homes, hospitals, farms and fishing trawlers are just some of the places set to see benefits from the research these new facilities will deliver,” Minister Birmingham said.

“From areas as diverse as microscopy and marine science to ion acceleration and veterinary science, the Coalition’s $16 million additional investment in 10 research projects highlights our commitment to ensuring Australia has the support it needs for research and innovation.

“Our commitments stand in stark contrast to Labor which in government announced $6.6 billion worth of cuts from higher education and research and left major research infrastructure without funding, like NCRIS, which jeopardised the jobs of 1,700 highly skilled critical researchers.”

The additional $16 million funding comes on top of the $150 million of indexed investment for ongoing operations that we committed through the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Minister Birmingham said that the Coalition had taken an holistic approach to research by encouraging collaboration with industry and business to focus on being more responsive to the needs and priorities of our society and economy.

“Australia needs a coordinated and focused approach to research priorities that are targeted at those things that make a difference to Australia and generate meaningful social and economic benefits,” Minister Birmingham said.

“That’s why our National Innovation and Science Agenda outlined sharper incentives in research funding that reward research excellence and partnership with industry.

“In May we committed $163 million to 258 new research projects that have been selected based on how they map to the challenges Australia faces.”

Minister Birmingham was joined at the announcement by the country’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO who was in Adelaide as part of a nationwide consultation trip to develop the priorities for Australian research.

“The work Dr Finkel and his Expert Working Group of researchers, stakeholders and business leaders are doing is critically important to develop a new roadmap for NCRIS and direction for research and innovation for the next decade,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The Expert Working Group has already made great progress and their work will ensure Australia has clear research priorities so that our universities and institutions can work together to tackle the challenges we face across the country.”

Minister Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974 Nick Creevey 0447 644 957

NCRIS AGILITY FUND INVESTMENTS

NCRIS PROJECT LEAD AGENT APPLICATION AMOUNT

Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility

University of Sydney Upgrade of flagship instrument suite Maintaining technology offerings at the cutting edge

to continue to generate world-leading research outcomes.

$1,450,000

Australian National Fabrication Facility ANFF Ltd ANFF National Packaging, Integration and Calibration Platform

Replacement infrastructure to support advances in bio-implantables and organic electronics.

$1,405,900

Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network

University of Melbourne Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Enhancement Project

Replacement hardware which is essential to making geo-spatial data available to support research into city planning and improving the built environment.

$700,000

Bioplatforms Australia Bioplatforms Australia Ltd Advancing Australia’s Genomics Capability Replacing instrumentation enabling unprecedented

biological insights for almost all sectors of life science.

$2,000,000

Heavy Ion Accelerators Australian National University

Restoring High Voltage Accelerator Performance Replacement of components to improve and restore accelerator performance.

$259,000

Integrated Marine Observing System University of Tasmania

Integrated Marine Observing System Infrastructure Replace monitoring infrastructure for necessary, urgent and high priority needs.

$1,330,697

National Computational Infrastructure Australian National

University

Sustaining the National Computational Infrastructure: a Strategic, Integrated Investment Urgent augmentation of supercomputing capability.

$7,000,000

National Imaging Facility University of Queensland Replacement of the Flagship Instrument MRI scanner at the SAHMRI Large Animal Research

and Imaging Facility Purchase a replacement scanner for the only purpose built large animal research facility.

$900,000

National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources

University of Melbourne Australian Research community clouds Augment the Australian BioSciences Cloud to

incorporate the Australian Ecosystems Science Cloud and the Australian Marine Sciences Cloud.

$508,000

Translating Health Discovery into clinical Therapeutic Innovation

Translating Health Discoveries into Clinical and Commercial Outcomes $685,000

applications Australia Ltd Replacement infrastructure to comply with recent modifications to international standards to improve the development of novel therapeutics.