National research facility short-list released

Tuesday, 03 July, 2001

A short-list of 37 major research facilities is to be considered for $155 million in government funding, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, has announced.

Announced as part of Backing Australia's Ability, the Major National Research Facilities program received 86 applications for funding from across Australia, in the fields of biotechnology, IT, engineering, and physical and chemical sciences.

Following assessment by an expert panel, 37 proposals have been selected for interview, with a final decision on the successful applicants to be announced in August.

"The Major National Research Facilities Program is about identifying the scientific infrastructure that Australia needs to build leading edge research capabilities," Senator Minchin said.

"The standard of proposals for funding was excellent. Unfortunately some very good proposals have not been short-listed, due to the high quality of many of the applications".

"My Department will assist unsuccessful applicants investigate whether alternative funding, both public or private, could be available to make their projects a reality".

Those selected for interview include fifteen principally located in New South Wales, six in Victoria, five in Queensland, two in South Australia, two in Western Australia, two in Tasmania, four in the ACT and one in the Northern Territory. A number of proposals also involve facilities across two or more States.

Four synchrotron proposals have been short-listed - one each from Victoria, NSW and Queensland, together with the program that funds access to overseas synchrotrons.

"Given the Victorian Government's announcement that it believes it can construct a synchrotron without MNRF funding, I have asked my advisory committee to assess the Victorian claim in more detail and advise me on the implications for the other synchrotron proponents. All four synchrotron proponents will be asked to attend the next interview stage".

A list of short-listed applicants, with descriptions and contact can be found at Minchin Releases

For more information on the MNRF Program and other Commonwealth innovation initiatives, visit the AusIndustry website

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