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$39.3 million for higher education research



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M t MEDIA RELEASE DR DAVID KEMP, MP Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs 11 May 1999

$93.3 MILLION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH

“The Government has honoured the commitments made at the last election to lift funding for research expenditure,” the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp announced today.

In line with this commitment, the Government will provide an additional $93.3 million over the next three years to support research infrastructure in universities. This includes an additional $36.8 million for 1999-2000. This latest addition brings total funding for research infrastructure over the next three

years to nearly $288 million.

“Australia’s higher education research infrastructure base underpins the success of our research performance,” said Dr Kemp.

This latest funding builds on the $59.8 million additional funding provided over three years for the Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT) Scheme announced in late 1998.

“Improving the crucial partnership between Australia’s universities and industry is a priority of the Government,” said Dr Kemp.

“Not only does the SPIRT scheme provide support for collaborative projects, it fosters research training links between researchers and users of research. At the same time it encourages industry to invest in research, by requiring a matching contribution for each Commonwealth funded SPIRT project.

“In fulfilling our election commitments, the Government is investing in building and maintaining ^ stronger linkages within the national innovation system.”

Media contact: Samantha Herron 0412 639 754 or 02 6277 7460

FACT SHEET

ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS WITH INDUSTRY - RESEARCH AND TRAINING SCHEME

Research Infrastructure Funding 7

• In the lead-up to the 1998 election, the Government made a commitment to provide additional funding for research infrastructure, to address a potential decline in the funding available for these projects from the year 2000.

• The Budget contains an additional $93.3 million over three years for research infrastructure which brings total funding for research infrastructure over the next three years to $287.6 million.

• These funds support the non-capital component of higher education research facilities such as libraries, computing centres, animal houses and herbaria; the purchase, installation and maintenance of equipment; and the salaries of staff employed to provide support for general research activity.

• The additional funds will be provided under the Research Infrastructure Block Grants Scheme. Funds under this Scheme are allocated to institutions based on their performance in attracting competitive research funds, as calculated by the National Competitive Grants Index.

Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training Scheme

• In the lead-up to the 1998 election, the Government made a commitment to provide additional funding for the Strategic Partnerships with Industry - Research and Training Scheme (SPIRT).

• The SPIRT Scheme provides support for university-industry collaborative research projects, and awards and fellowships to undertake training or research in applied industry settings. The Scheme also encourages industry to invest in research, by requiring matching contributions for each Commonwealth funded SPIRT project.

• In late 1998, an additional $59.8 million was allocated to the SPIRT scheme. This maintains the level of funding provided for the Scheme to allow new projects to be funded at current levels and to provide for the pipeline effects of new grants and awards.