Unis central to economy – $1.6 billion research plan

The Government has today recognised the central role that universities and university research plays in Australia’s prosperity and recovery, with the Prime Minister’s announcement of an extra $1.6 billion to advance research commercialisation.

The package will provide funding opportunities to researchers and innovators pursuing commercial viability and industry partnerships. A further $296 million will provide additional funding for industry-focused PhDs and fellowships.

Universities Australia Chair Professor John Dewar AO said university researchers make a vital contribution to Australia’s economic and social wellbeing.

“The knowledge created by our universities and researchers drives our prosperity,” Professor Dewar said.

“Today’s announcement reinforces their role at the centre of Australia’s innovation ecosystem.”

“Universities and industry have long worked together in the national interest. Additional investment to assist the commercialisation of great ideas, at crucial stages, is very welcome and strengthens the partnership between universities, Government and industry to contribute to Australia’s economic recovery.”

“It is also important to recall that universities conduct 90 per cent of Australia’s basic research – the creation of new knowledge and ideas – and nearly half of all applied research – more than business, making them fundamental to the innovation pipeline.”

“Successful commercialisation depends on the high-quality basic research that precedes it.”

“Creating new knowledge benefits everyone.”

“New ideas come in every discipline: history; languages and anthropology; creative arts; engineering and computer sciences; biology and chemistry; psychology and health sciences, just to name a few.”

“Securing predictable, adequate support for Australia’s basic research capability, as well as commercialisation, will be vital into the future.”

“The funding for industry-focused PhDs is a welcome contribution to this capability.”

“We recognise the significance of today’s commitment, so it is important Government undertakes thorough consultation with universities to ensure the nation receives maximum value from its investment.”

“Universities Australia has long advocated for further investment in translational research which recognises the key role universities and industry contribute to achieving commercialisation success.”

“We look forward to working with Government to develop a robust, merit-based process for assessing projects and recognising them with investment.”

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