A fund for the future of science research

Research lobbies want access to the proposed National Reconstruction Fund (CMM February 6,7 and 8) but Science and Technology Australia wants a resource for researchers to call their own

STA’s budget submission calls for a science equivalent of the Medical Research Future Fund, “a long-term strategic investment pool that would ‘level up’ Australia’s capacity for science breakthroughs, and secure Australia’s economy and ability to address future challenges.”

Good o- but how much? STA is silent on a sum, although it does refer to a science future fund, “created at the scale and proven model of the Medical Research Future Fund.”

That would be the $20bn MRFF created from years of savings from the health budget.

“Establishing a similar scheme to back fundamental science breakthroughs would be a game-changer. This is a prudent and proven model to deliver long-term sustainability and an immediate uplift,” STA suggests. The lobby adds an SFF could build with stepped investment over time,

No harm in asking,

Other STA ideas for the budget that are even more prudent include;

*  unspecified budget boosts to the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council

* a “bolder commitment” to the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and,

*  an investment in research and development to push outlays closer to 3 per cent of GDP.