Greens launch science funding road map to boost R&D to 3% of GDP

Greens Deputy Leader and science spokesperson Adam Bandt MP joined Professor Doug Hilton, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medial Research (WEHI), Professor Robert Williamson, Australian Academy of Science (AAS) and Greens health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natale today to announce the Greens science and research policy.

The Greens road map to take research and innovation to 3% of GDP by 2020 includes a boost of funding for research councils, moving from triennial to five year funding and a reversal of Labor’s cuts to research funding.

“Science and innovation are the keys to prosperity,” Mr Bandt said. “If we want a strong economy after the mining boom boosting our investment in science and research is vital.”

“Our investment in science and research is lagging behind many other developed countries and according to the Chief Scientist we may be set to go backwards.”

“Melbourne is in a strong position to lead Australia’s shift to a knowledge based economy. Our health and medical research would benefit from the measures in this policy.”

The Greens roadmap to reach 3% of GDP by 2020 includes:

  • A ‘Future Science’ package, consisting of a combined $750 million boost to the Australia Research Council, National Health & Medical Research Council and to Cooperative Research Centres;
  • Funding for indirect costs associated with health and medical research ($141m);
  • Steps towards default 5 year grants in ARC and NHMRC and the recognition of proven researchers;
  • $342m to reverse short-sighted Government cuts to the Sustainable Research Excellence program;
  • A new National Research Infrastructure Facilities Council ($230m)
  • Strategic opportunities for international collaboration ($150m)
  • An ongoing Future Fellowships scheme to attract and retain top research talents ($100m)
  • Open Access Publishing of Government funded research ($40m)
  • Targeted support for Health and Medical Research commercialisation, to keep development in Australia ($155m)
  • Creation of new Integrated Health Research Centres to translate the research discoveries into clinical practice ($120m)

In addition to previously announced Greens initiatives for increased investment in agricultural research and development and Antarctic Research, this will provide an additional $2.5 billion investment in research and development over the forward estimates. Our commitment to 3% R&D is also supported by our commitment to reverse cuts to universities and boost base funding by 10%.

The plan, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, will be funded from announced revenue measures, including the abolition of fossil fuel subsidies.