Universities Australia Newsroom | 19 October 2012
The Commonwealth government has announced $652 million in National Health and Medical Research Council grants, the first tranche of grants to emerge from the Government’s freeze ahead of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on 22 October.
Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson welcomed the announcement, noting:
Over three quarters of Australia’s 39 universities have directly received grants in this funding round, showing just how vital the sector is in protecting and advancing the health of all Australians. The fact that these frozen grants have been paid in full is also recognition by the Government of their importance to Australia.
But with concerns that research funding will be cut in the MYEFO, Robinson warned that serious questions remained about other research and innovation funding across government:
To delay, cut or abolish the programs that will power the innovation needed to underwrite our productivity is to delay, cut or abolish Australia’s future economic prosperity. Short-term, stop-go approaches to funding and investment decisions add to uncertainty and undermine efforts to retain our best and brightest researchers.