Scientists warn on research funding

 5 March 2015

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A group of leading scientists, comprising the National Research Alliance (NRA), has written to the Prime Minister warning that Australia’s research effort is on the verge of shutting down due to uncertainty over operational funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

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Invest in research

Money for the NCRIS to operate for another year is tied to the government’s higher education reforms, which have stalled in the Senate.

The letter says that, since 2004, NCRIS and its predecessor program has sensibly and successfully guided Australia’s national research infrastructure investment; committing over $2 billion of taxpayer money to 27 major research facilities.

Together, these facilities:
• allow Australia’s scientists to undertake world-class research;
• enable significant science industry linkage, including the capacity for innovative Australian companies to access high-tech infrastructure; and
• facilitate international research collaboration, which provide substantial economic and intellectual value to Australia.

Over 35,000 Australian and international researchers use NCRIS facilities, and the 27 national facilities employ over 1,700 highly skilled scientists, and support and management staff. The facilities underpin much of Australia’s $30 billion annual spend on science, research and development at an operational cost of just $150 million per annum (0.5% of total, and 1.6% of the Australian Government science funding).

See
Billion-dollar research facilities on verge of closure without promised funds
Scientists warn lack of funding will ruin research facilities
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