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A $500 million boost for Australian science

7 December 2015

Australia’s science sector will receive a $500 million boost over the next four years, as part of today’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Assistant Minister for Science, Karen Andrews says the Agenda, launched today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne, will drive investment into research and develop the scientific, mathematical and technical skills of the younger generation.

"This Agenda will put science at the centre of the everyday; it will make science part of the national conversation in a way it has never been before," Mrs Andrews said.

"It offers substantial new investment which will drive research, encourage the adoption of new ideas and bolster Australia’s scientific skills and research capabilities."

The Agenda includes funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facilities, the Australian Synchrotron and the Square Kilometre array – critical research equipment needed for cutting-edge science, totalling $2.3 billion over ten years.

By providing this funding certainty, the Government is allowing scientists and industry to engage in long-term planning without fear of recurring funding cliffs and encourage greater industry investment.

Mrs Andrews said the Agenda will continue successful initiatives like Inspiring Australia to encourage all Australians to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

"The Agenda will equip young Australians with the skills to create and use digital technologies," said Mrs Andrews.

"We are also focused on creating more opportunities for women in STEM by committing $12 million to encourage greater participation of girls and women in STEM studies and careers.

"I will now talk to scientists and researchers to explain how this Agenda will help the scientific community and seek advice on how to best tackle some of the challenges ahead.

"This Innovation and Science Agenda will further advance the great progress we have already made in the science community."

More information on the NISA is available at www.innovation.gov.au

Media contact: Mrs Andrews’ Office: 02 6277 4360