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National roadmap for research infrastructure shows the way

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The Australian Government has released a comprehensive roadmap outlining the research infrastructure priorities essential for building Australian research excellence into the future.

Releasing the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, congratulated Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, and the expert working group on a thorough analysis of Australia’s research infrastructure priorities.

“The Roadmap provides comprehensive advice and highlights the success of Australia’s current research infrastructure system in supporting research excellence,” Minister Sinodinos said.

“These facilities underpin great research that benefits Australians in their everyday lives in areas as diverse as treating chronic diseases like melanoma and increasing yields in key crops to improve our food security.”

The 2016 Roadmap has identified nine focus areas for infrastructure investment:

  • digital data and e‑research platforms
  • platforms for humanities arts and social sciences
  • characterisation (techniques for understanding the properties of materials)
  • advanced fabrication and manufacturing
  • advanced physics and astronomy
  • earth and environmental systems
  • biosecurity
  • complex biology
  • therapeutic development.

Minister Birmingham said that the 2016 Roadmap was developed through extensive consultation with the research community, universities, research institutes, state government and industry.

“The Roadmap made a number of recommendations that the Government will consider,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Key to our consideration will be the development of a research infrastructure investment plan to develop a broad understanding of the range and scale of the infrastructure required for the future so that Australia continues to deliver cutting edge research outcomes.

“The plan will inform how we approach future investment in national research infrastructure and equipment needs across the sector consistent with the 2016 Roadmap, including in the publicly funded research agencies. It will be developed in consultation with Innovation and Science Australia and the Commonwealth Science Council,” Minister Sinodinos said.

The Roadmap attracted considerable stakeholder interest, with more than 320 submissions commenting on the expert working group’s capability issues paper and more than 170 comments on the draft roadmap.

The expert working group also directly consulted more than 580 stakeholders and made 51 site visits.

For more information about the Roadmap visit: https://docs.education.gov.au/node/43736.

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