Group of 8 Australia (Go8) and Universities Australia (UA) have shared insights on the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan.
Recognizing its significant role on leading, developing and managing Australia’s major national research infrastructure facilities, Go8 emphasized how the Australian industry as a whole will benefit from utilizing the national research infrastructure facilities.
While also being at the forefront of leading Australia’s participation in key international research infrastructure endeavours, Go8 believes that the research investment plan will establish Australia as a research powerhouse.
According to Go8, the investment and associated funding eases the 40,000 researchers and 2000 research facility employees to continue their vital work.
Despite the government not hearing Go8’s recommendation to establish an independent advisory body, Go8 still recognizes the Government’s commitment to consult with ‘relevant experts’.
Universities Australia also have positive comments on the budget boost for research infrastructure particularly the $393 million boost for major research infrastructure and 500 newly-funded pathway places into university for regional Australians saying that it is “a solid down-payment on future economic growth”.
The organisation also acknowledges the government’s efforts that it believes will close opportunity gaps in regional Australia.
With over 500 technical experts, researchers and facility managers in 222 institutions and 35,000 research facilities delivered by the National Collaborative Research Strategy NCRIS, UA Chair Professor Margaret Gardner said that these research superfacilities support solutions to some of our biggest challenges.
“They will help deliver cures for skin cancer and diabetes, create new medicines, turn waste into renewable fuels, and secure our country’s future environmental, energy and food needs.
“Investing in these facilities is like laying the rail and road networks of the 19th and 20th centuries — they are productive infrastructure to deliver tomorrow’s discoveries, industries, start-ups and jobs” she noted.
KEY BUDGET MEASURES IN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION AND RESEARCH:
- $393 million over five years for research infrastructure – with $200 million to flow in 2017-18;
- major changes to the R&D tax incentive for business, saving $2.4 billion over four years;
- $275 million in research projects funded by the Medical Research Future Fund;
- 185 Bachelor degree Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) for the eight previously-announced regional study hubs in 2018-19. This number is set to rise to 500 places a year from 2022;
- 500 extra enabling and sub-Bachelor places for regional Australians;
- a lift in the parental income threshold from $150,000 to $160,000, plus a further $10,000 for each additional child, for regional students seeking independent Youth Allowance;
- the establishment of a Murray Darling Medical School Network;
- a change to funding arrangements for the higher education regulator, TEQSA, to move to a full cost recovery model, raising $28.3 million;
- the levying of an annual charge for all HELP providers – including universities – to raise $31 million over four years;
- a $63 million cut to the Endeavour Scholarships program;
- a review of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) annual registration charge; and
- reclaiming unspent funds from Industry Growth Centres and Cooperative Research Centres – a new saving of $20 million over two years.
Photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay
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