Creating ‘industry brokers’ at the nation’s key research infrastructure facilities could propel a new wave of home-grown advanced manufacturing industries, the science and technology peak body says.
Science & Technology Australia’s submission to the Senate inquiry on manufacturing proposes the cut-through idea to help industry tap into specialised research facilities.
The Australian Government funds major national research infrastructure specialist facilities as the backbone of our research capability.
They include complex facilities in geological surveying, supercomputing, specialised DNA studies, precision medicines, and new treatments for disease funded via the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme.
Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said:
“These assets are key to Australia’s entire research enterprise – and long-term secure funding for them is essential to achieve the nation’s research ambitions,” she said.
“But industry partners can often find it really hard to work out how to access these highly specialised facilities.”
“We’d like to see the creation of new ‘industry broker’ roles to help businesses get to know these capabilities and identify how the business can use them.”
“We see a huge advantage especially for advanced manufacturing firms to be able to reach into these specialist facilities for expertise, support and assets.”
“These roles should be created with a funding boost on top of operational budgets.”
Science & Technology Australia also calls for a new Research Translation Fund – and a national strategy to drive further advances in clean energy technology and expand clean energy advanced manufacturing onshore.
“We should capitalise on the growing global demand for clean energy technology made in Australia using our abundance of clean energy raw materials,” she said.
“The bottom line is that we should be trying to ensure that what is discovered in Australia is made in Australia.”