PRESS RELEASE – Science & Technology Australia submission to 2021 Federal Budget

STA 2021 Pre Budget Submission

The Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) welcomes the 2021 Federal Budget submission by Science & Technology Australia (STA), announced in its press release of February 23rd. In particular, we strongly support the proposal for a non-medical research translation fund and a comprehensive long-term national plan for science and technology.

The submission calls for a $2.4bn research translation fund that will help unlock the enormous potential of Australian science research to benefit all Australians.

From an ACDS perspective, such a scheme will enable the great work by University science in areas like environmental science, agriculture, chemistry and physics, to contribute to global challenges like food and water security, climate change, renewable energy and smart materials, amongst other things. Australian universities are very strong in these areas but, akin to priority areas in the medical space, targeted investment is needed to translate research outcomes into community benefits.

We also strongly support STA’s call for a national plan and whole of government approach for Australian science. This would build on the earlier excellent but now dated plans for science and innovation, and enable more long term thinking, planning and action through the proposal for an Australia 2035 STEM strategy.

The ACDS sees a research translation fund as a significant driving force for the plan’s implementation by putting real financial impetus behind key elements of it. It would ensure that effective pipelines from discovery to impact are established, and encourage better coordination of currently available schemes (e.g. CRC’s, Growth centres, Industrial transformation Hubs, Rural R&D schemes).

Together, the changes proposed by Science & Technology Australia will drive better outcomes from science research and innovation in Australia. They will fill the gaps in funding for research translation and commercialization, leading to benefits for the community, businesses and our economy, as well as adding to Australia’s sovereign capability.

February 25th  2021


Professor Melissa Brown                    Professor John Rice

President, ACDS                                 Executive Director, ACDS