Picking winners: the feds announce research infrastructure spending for ten years

The federal government is following the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, with a long-anticipated ten year spending plan announced yesterday. Readers with long memories, it was way back in MMXVII, will recall Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s tabula via infrastructure, was based on research community recommendations.

Yesterday’s announcement identifies two funding streams; Investment Plan spending, from 2017-18 to 2012-22 and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy outlays from this financial year to 2028-29.  Most programmes will occur across a range of universities and research agencies but three are institution-specific. The nine research fields are:

Australian National Fabrication Facility.  Investment Plan: $36.2m, NCRIS: $103.2m. “Processing of materials for application in defence, sensors, medical devices, nanophotonics and nanoelectronics.

Integrated Marine Observing System. Investment Plan: $22m, NCRIS: $14.9m. Data streams and genomic technology to study Australia’s “vast and valuable ocean economy.”

Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility. Investment Plan: $14.3m, NCRIS: $35.4m. “Equipment, instrumentation and expertise in microscopy and microanalysis for widely used and cutting edge techniques, including optical, electron and X-ray techniques.”

Bioplatforms Australia. Investment Plan: $48m, NCRIS: $123.9m. Next-gen sequencing and mass spectrometry for medicine, biomedicine, biotech, agri-business and environmental conservation.

RV Investigator. Investment Plan: $31.1m, NCRIS: $31.15m. Increase the research vessel’s sea-time by 120 days to 300. Funding to CSIRO.

Auscope. Investment Plan: $1.5m, NCRIS: $41.5. Instrumentation and IT platform prioritising Earth imaging, subsurface observatory and spatial representation to discover, develop and manage of minerals, energy and groundwater resources.

National Collection. Investment Plan: $43m, NCRIS: $43m. Consolidation of national collection of animal and plant specimens. CSIRO.

Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network. Investment Plan: $7.4m, NCRIS: $18.8m Linking data sets for research and government use in urban environments and transport. University of Melbourne.

Therapeutic Innovation Australia. Investment Plan: $29.3m, NCRIS: $49.3m Clinical trials for health outcomes and health system efficiencies, including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.


to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education