Govt fund to boost science and technology diplomacy


Monday, 11 April, 2022

Govt fund to boost science and technology diplomacy

The Australian Government has announced a new strategic element of the Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund (GSTDF), designed to boost Australia’s science and technology diplomacy by promoting cooperation with global partners in priority areas.

Over the next four years, the fund will support international collaboration to enhance Australia’s profile in science and technology research and application. Australian businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers can capitalise on international opportunities to commercialise their cutting-edge products and services and strengthen scientific collaborations.

Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the strategic element of the $60.2 million fund will boost Australia’s partnerships across priority research areas, complementing our work with existing partners.

“This fund will provide Australian researchers and businesses with the skills, knowledge and global opportunities to ensure our nation remains at the forefront of science and technological innovation, while solving some of the worldwide challenges we face,” Price said.

“Investing in science and technology is particularly important as we navigate our way out of the COVID pandemic, and this fund will support economic recovery while boosting our international science and technology capability.

“The fund provides access to the world’s best knowledge, technology and research infrastructure in key areas, equipping Australian researchers and businesses with the tools they need to support our economic recovery and future prosperity.”

The priority research areas of cooperation for 2022 are:

  • advanced manufacturing;
  • artificial intelligence and quantum computing;
  • hydrogen production;
  • RNA (including mRNA) vaccines and therapies.
     

The priority research areas were identified through extensive stakeholder engagement and align with the government’s strategies and priorities, and will be reviewed annually.

“The new fund enables Australia to build new partnerships and will complement our ongoing engagement with existing partners,” Price said.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), in partnership with the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), will implement the strategic element of the GSTDF under an $18.2 million grant agreement. ATSE and AAS aim to draw on the expertise of their learned fellowships to support Australian researchers and innovators to build global science and technology collaborations, amplify commercialisation potential and strengthen Australia’s standing as a global science leader.

“By increasing links between Australia’s STEM leaders and global partners, we have a unique opportunity to unlock access to international networks that can boost our sovereign capabilities, grow our economy and build our international science and technology reputation,” said ATSE CEO Kylie Walker.

“The Academies have a strong commitment to international engagement, a long history of successfully supporting it, and are steadfast advocates for social and economic development that benefits all Australians. ATSE is proud to lead and collaborate with AAS to deliver this new initiative, funded by the federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.”

AAS Foreign Secretary Professor Elaine Sadler added, “The Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund will create a flexible and streamlined approach to supporting international collaboration at a time when we need it most. By identifying and supporting strategic international science and research collaboration with identified partners worldwide, the fund will boost Australia’s science and technology research and commercialisation effort.”

Applications for the 2022 GSTDF strategic element grants are expected to open later this year.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Prostock-studio

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