The Australian government has announced a new round of funding for the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), a scheme launched by ARC to advance Australia’s research and innovation capability, globally.

An Australian Government Commonwealth entity, the ARC administers the NCGP— supporting the highest-quality fundamental and applied research, and research through a national competition. The NCGP supports:

  • High-quality research leading to the discovery of new ideas and the advancement of knowledge.
  • Facilities and equipment in which researchers need to be internationally competitive.
  • Researchers at different stages of their careers, including training and skills development of the next generation of researchers.
  • Incentives for Australia’s most talented researchers to work in partnership with leading researchers throughout the national innovation system and internationally, and to form alliances with the Australian industry.

The Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham announced the additional AU$416.6 million in funding as part of delivering policy and programs that will advance Australian research and innovation globally and benefit the community.

The schemes for which projects have received funding include:

  • Discovery projects for funding commencing in 2017: AU$234.7 million for 630 projects.
  • Discovery Indigenous for funding commencing in 2017: AU$4.6 million for 11 projects
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for funding commencing in 2017: AU$71.7 million for 200 projects
  • Future Fellowships for funding commencing in 2016: AU$77.0 million for 100 projects
  • Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities for funding commencing in 2017: AU$28.6 million for 48 projects

Minister Birmingham said the funding announced today is a crucial investment in growing a smart Australia, driving innovation and delivering real outcomes that benefit all Australians. He further added,

 This funding represents a significant investment in a wide variety of fundamental and applied research projects, growing Australia’s research capacity and infrastructure, and supporting the next generation of researchers. The Turnbull Government is investing record amounts in supporting our best and brightest fellowship researchers and is correcting the funding cliff left by Labor.

Earlier this year, the Australian Government announced the launch of nine new ARC Centers of Excellence, handing out AU$283.5 million to fund specialized research initiatives. Seven Australian universities administer the Centres of Excellence, involving a further 163 participating organizations from across 27 countries, providing a total of AU$761.4 million to support the centers.

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