Following the close of submissions for the draft National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, Science and Technology Australia (STA) has commended Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, and the Expert Working Group on drafting a thorough Roadmap for the future of this country’s critical research infrastructure.
It provides a ray of hope for professionals using these vital facilities to further their research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
CEO of STA, Kylie Walker, said the document would pave the way for international best practice for the management of national research infrastructure.
“Research infrastructure provides access to expensive and complicated equipment to both public and private researchers, allowing them to enhance the way they do their work,” Ms Walker said.
“This includes facilities such as the Australian Synchrotron, the OPAL Research Reactor, and the Square Kilometre Array.”
Ms Walker said nationally coordinated research infrastructure meant research organisations could access the complex technology that is vital for their work, and fostered collaboration within the sector.
“We would like to see the Roadmap add further emphasis to the collaboration and cooperation between the nine focus areas and various disciplines involved,” Ms Walker said.
“It’s also critically important that the strategy for managing this infrastructure plans for and supports the highly skilled specialist staff who are essential for these facilities.”
STA strongly supports the Roadmap’s recommendation to establish a National Research Infrastructure Advisory Group to provide independent advice on future planning and investment. This Group would also continually review and update the plan according to shifting national needs and priorities, international capabilities and best practice.
“We have great hope that this long-term vision will find bipartisan support, and that STEM research in Australia is supported with state-of-the-art infrastructure,” Ms Walker said.
“Strong and strategic support for research will benefit our economy, our health system, our education and our way of life.”
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