Industry, Education departments team up to develop research infrastructure roadmap

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday June 15, 2021

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Their roadmap will outline research infrastructure required over the coming decade. (Image: Adobe/Gorodenkoff)

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has announced it will team up with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to develop a roadmap setting out Australia’s research infrastructure priorities.

The 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, once finalised, will inform the commonwealth’s 2022 Research Infrastructure Investment Plan, the department said on Tuesday.

The roadmap will outline national research infrastructure required over the coming decade to maintain research excellence, increase innovation, and address emerging research challenges.

Last month RMIT University chancellor and NBN Co chair Dr Ziggy Switkowski was appointed to lead an expert working group to develop the roadmap. He will be joined by Professor Liz Sonenberg, Dr Chris Roberts, Professor Barbara Howlett, Dr Michelle Perugini, and Lauren Stafford.

Ex-officio members of the working group include Australia’s chief scientist Dr Cathy Foley, Education department deputy secretary Rob Heferen, and Industry department deputy secretary David Williamson.

The working group will consult with state and territory governments, the research community, universities, industry and business to inform the roadmap.

The government’s previous research infrastructure roadmaps were undertaken in 2011 and 2016. Announcing plans for the 2021 version last month, education and youth minister Alan Tudge noted that the world has significantly changed in recent years. He said national research infrastructure had played a key role in supporting Australia’s recovery from bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our world-class science and research will continue to contribute to Australia’s response to the evolving challenges and opportunities we now face, and the roadmap will ensure our efforts are focussed on key areas,” he said in a statement.

“The roadmap will also support our research commercialisation agenda by identifying areas of opportunity at all stages of the research pipeline.”

The government will announce a program of activities and events for the 2021 roadmap consultations soon.


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