Turnbull Government, in order to drive greater collaboration between researchers and industry and businesses, has decided to hike investment in Australia’s research universities by $76 million.
Minister Birmingham said the research block grants funding arrangement complement other initiatives to strengthen collaboration between Australian industry and researchers. The other steps include, developing an assessment of university research engagement and impact. They will introduce continuous applications and encourage faster decision making for Australian Research Council Linkage Projects grant.
The funding comprises AU$50 million revealed over a year ago as part of the Government’s AU$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham stated the Turnbull Government had committed $1.9 billion to R&D and training researchers in 2017, including more than $1 billion through the Research Training Program which supports over 40,000 Masters and PhD students a year. Simon further added,
The new research block grants include $50 million from the National Innovation and Science Agenda to drive universities to engage more with industry and other innovation systems. Australian researchers have no shortage of smart ideas. But Australia needs to become better at taking research and applying it in ways that benefit the broader community, or that turns our best research ideas into new job-creating commercial realities.
He added that they have worked with their research sector on the new funding arrangements, creating a simple, transparent framework that gives universities flexibility in how they support research and research training. Minister Birmingham added,
It’s now one year on from the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda and we’re starting to see a wave of change that will see universities developing new initiatives and partnerships with businesses, governments and other innovators.
The government also announced on 21st that they are expecting input from industry, science, and research communities on priority research themes for upcoming selection rounds of its Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program.