The Universities Accord panel should recommend setting a bold R&D investment target of 3% of GDP by 2035, and a doubling of ARC, NHMRC and university Research Block Grants funding from 2024 in its final report.
In its submission to the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report, Science & Technology Australia has called for an urgent, medium, and long-term plan for a major uplift in economy-boosting research funding.
The nation’s peak body for science and technology has urged the panel to:
- recommend an official R&D investment target for Australia of 3% of GDP by 2035, with an interim target of 2.4% by 2030, plus develop an investment roadmap to reach the target.
- start a major scale up in university research investments from 2024 – by doubling Australia’s investments in the ARC & NHMRC’s competitive grants budgets and university Research Block Grants.
“These two powerful recommendations will seize Australia’s share of the new jobs, income and industries that will be generated by major economy-powering research breakthroughs over the next decade,” said Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert.
“Australia’s future economic firepower relies on the Accord Panel making these recommendations in its final report to the Government.”
“Without a clear recommendation from the Accord Panel for a bold R&D uplift, the Australian Government won’t have the policy and budget levers it needs to deepen Australia’s investment.”
“The ARC’s report this week highlighted the awful cost of not investing in research – every dollar not spent on research is $3.32 in economic activity lost.”
“If we set an R&D investment target and boost grants budgets now, Australia can seize the wealth, jobs, opportunities and inventions of tomorrow. If we miss our moment in history, we consign ourselves to the slow lane on the highway to a future economy.”
“We call on the panel to be bold, clear and ambitious in its R&D recommendations to Government, so The Australian Government has a roadmap to protect Australian jobs, incomes and living standards.”
Science & Technology Australia’s full submission to the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report is available here.
Media contact: Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828