Science & Technology Australia (STA) has echoed the concern of the university sector today, with projections warning of critically low research and development funding.
With the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) due on Monday, STA CEO Ms Kylie Walker urged the government to outline a plan to significantly boost public investment in R&D.
“Projections highlighted by Universities Australia show that research funding from government will be the lowest in more than 40 years,” Ms Walker said.
“Australia’s public investment in the critical research that keeps us healthy, well-fed, environmentally resilient and economically robust has not kept pace with our OECD counterparts, who have been growing their R&D funding while ours has fallen.”
The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors raised concerns earlier in the year after Budget tables revealed government support for research and development was continuing to fall. These projections show that this trend is likely to continue without urgent action.
“Australians deserve to hear how the Government plans to rectify this shortfall and ensure the future prosperity of the nation,” Ms Walker said.
“A bold move, like investing in a Translational Research Future Fund, would be a strong signal of intention to boost capacity to innovate. Science & Technology Australia welcomes consultation to help lay the groundwork for this to happen.”