January 20, 2017

Long-term funding is the missing piece of the Research Infrastructure puzzle: IRU’s response to the 2016 Draft National Research Infrastructure Roadmap

The 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap identifies the priority research infrastructure for the coming decade in nine focus areas that will underpin research in which Australia excels.  This should deliver long-term national benefit and foster strategic international partnerships for Australia.    IRU supports the Draft Roadmap’s nine overarching recommendations and the nine identified national research infrastructure focus areas.  Two issues remain.

  1. 1. Long-term funding is the missing piece of the Research Infrastructure puzzle. For this Roadmap exercise to be meaningful, the Government must resolve the funding issue.   The $3.7 billion from the Education Investment Fund (EIF) should be part of the equation.
  2. 2. Hosting for world-class research infrastructure should intentionally be spread across Australia.

This entire exercise has confirmed the case for investing in research infrastructure is strong and that excellent research requires excellent research infrastructure. Addressing Australia’s research infrastructure needs at a national scale in a collaborative manner, is the most efficient and productive way.    As the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel argued in his first speech to the Press Club, powering science will in turn fuel industry and push Australian innovations out to the world.