Media Release, Science & Technology, 14 May 2024; A strategic investment in powerfully increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a review of the R&D system, and a pathway to incentivising business to help the country reach a 3% of GDP target for R&D and secure the nation’s future are welcome initiatives in tonight’s Budget.

The nation’s peak body representing more than 225,000 scientists and technologists has warmly welcomed the announcement of a review of the R&D system, as a way to chart a course towards investing 3% of GDP in R&D.

And we welcome the Future Made in Australia Budget commitments as a way of incentivising business to turbocharge the transition to net zero and a future of green energy.

“This is a strong Budget for a future based on science and innovation,” said STA President Professor Sharath Sriram.

“It charts a clear pathway towards boosting national investment in economy-powering R&D through a review of the R&D system and the Future Made in Australia initiatives.”

“STA has consistently advocated that to maintain our standard of living and create the economy we want for the future, we need to increase R&D expenditure to 3% of GDP as fast as possible. If we had this level of investment right now, the economy would be $100 billion and 42,000 jobs better off.”

“The Review of the R&D system is timely and welcome – it has the potential to better connect the innovation ecosystem to support business, build a thriving economy, and accelerate the development of products and solutions. This can reverse the decline in national investment in R&D.”

“The investments through A Future Made in Australia will incentivise business to add more heft to that R&D effort.”

“This includes $566 million to Geosciences Australia to map Australia’s resources and critical minerals, and a $1.7 billion Innovation Fund to support innovative green technologies. These are positive first steps towards diversifying our economy.”

STA Acting CEO Dr Sandra Gardam said a funding boost of $38.2 million showed the government is committed to boosting diversity in STEM.

“We are delighted to welcome this announcement. This funding recognises that there are highly successful programs, such as STA’s Superstars of STEM, that are powerfully shifting the dial on diversity in STEM, and delivers on the findings of the Diversity in STEM review.”

[About Science & Technology Australia
Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 225,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology.]


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