The Government has boosted funding for Australia’s research universities by $76 million as part of the push to drive greater collaboration between researchers and industry and businesses.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the 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.
“The Government’s $76 million boost for Australia’s researchers means we are delivering $1.9 billion in 2017 alone to support the ideas and discoveries that will be vital to our country’s future successes,” Minister Birmingham said.
“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.
“We’ve worked with our 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 said the research block grants funding arrangement complement other initiatives to strengthen collaboration between Australian industry and researchers, including:
- developing an assessment of university research engagement and impact
- introducing continuous applications and faster decision making for Australian Research Council Linkage Projects grants
- expanding the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute internship program for PhD students to provide 1,400 placements over four years and get them into the workforce
- developing a National Careers Education Strategy for students.
“It’s now one year on from the 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,” Minister Birmingham said.