Research funding reductions are expected in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook next week and Universities Australia has pre-empted the announcement with a case against the cuts (below). But yesterday Education Minister Dan Tehan pre-empted the pre-emption, announcing expert inquiries into required investment for the government’s “$2.2bn research infrastructure investment plan.”
The experts will investigate infrastructure requirements for synthetic biology, climate and earth systems (the ACCESS weather model) and a national environmental prediction system. There are another five reviews to come.
“Australian researchers have been at the forefront of innovation, from WiFi to black-box flight recorders, and we need to ensure we continue to invest in research that improves lives and grows our economy,” Mr Tehan says.
As to the $2.2bn, which might come up in MYEFO – it’s a bunch of dosh, but it is scheduled to last until 2028-29.
Panel members are –
Synthetic biology: Sakkie Pretorius (Chair) – Macquarie U, Joseph Trapani – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Claudia Vickers – CSIRO, Mark Jacobs – Queensland Government, Phil Wright – NSW Government
ACCESS: Greg Ayers – (Chair) – ex Bureau of Meteorology, Peter May – BoM, Helen Cleugh CSIRO, Ben Evans – National Computational Infrastructure, Tas van Ommen – Australian Antarctic Division, Andy Pitman – ARC centre for climate system science
Environmental prediction system: Rob Vertessy – ex BoM, Andrea Hinwood – Victorian Government, Steve Morton – Charles Darwin U, Warwick McDonald, CSIRO, Bronwyn Harch – DVC R Uni Queensland, Phil McFadden ex Geoscience Australia, Adam Lewis – Geoscience Australia