This week’s Budget 2020-21 highlighted the crucial role of science, technology, engineering and maths to the nation’s economic recovery.
Measures announced in the Budget for the STEM sector included:
- A $1 billion boost to university research funding this year, and a $459 million COVID-19 lifeline for CSIRO – both measures warmly welcomed by STA;
- A decision to drop proposed cuts to the Research & Development Tax Incentive, which STA urged the Government to rethink back in June amid COVID-19;
- $5.8 million for a scoping study of options to accelerate the translation and commercialisation of research. We see the potential for this to be a first step towards STA’s long-term goal of a Research Translation Fund;
- An industry cadetship program for women in the private sector STEM workforce, and extra funds for the Boosting Female Founders program.
STA’s Budget night response with more detail on STEM measures is on our website. Thank you for your support and passion for STEM. Like you, we know STEM is a game-changer for opportunity across Australian society and economy. We are pleased to see the recognition of the role STEM can play in these key measures in this Budget.
On another topic, at lunchtime today, the higher education legislation passed the Senate by a single deciding vote – cast by Centre Alliance’s South Australian Senator Stirling Griff. The amended Bill was then passed in the House late this afternoon. Our thanks to each of you who spoke up for STEM and helped STA to make the sector’s views on the legislation known to many key members of Parliament in recent days, weeks and months.
In our media release tonight, STA has urged the Government to especially monitor the impact of the changes on STEM as it undertakes a review 18 months after the legislation commences.
Until next time,
CEO, Science & Technology Australia
NEW REPORTS AND POLICY CHANGES OF INTEREST TO STA MEMBERS
- Comment is invited on a discussion paper on the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund, with feedback due by 30 October;
- The Prime Minister launched the Modern Manufacturing Strategy;
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics issued a new report: University output measures in the Australian National Accounts: experimental estimates, 2008 to 2017;
- The ABS has also released a report on Qualifications and Work;
- Two major Agriculture Technology reports have been released from ACOLA and The Agriculture Biotechnology Council of Australia;
- The Innovative Research Universities have released a paper on the doubling of higher education red tape since 2004.
STA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS
Nominations close next week for the STA Executive Committee. To nominate, you must be a member of an STA ordinary member (non-affiliate).
The office bearer roles currently open for nomination are:
President Elect (1-year appointment, followed by 2-year appointment as President)
Secretary (2-year appointment)
Policy Committee Chair (2-year appointment)
Early Career Representative (2-year appointment)
Nominations close on 12 October. To find out more and to nominate, visit our website.
2020 STA PRESIDENT & CEO FORUM
Science & Technology Australia will once again bring together the leadership of our member organisations – this time in virtual format – for STA’s third annual President and CEO Forum.
The 2020 Forum will set shared policy advocacy priorities for the STEM sector heading into the next Budget and Election cycle. Please note attendance is limited to one representative per STA Member Organisation. The event will be held on November 12 at 1pm AEDT.
For more information and to RSVP, visit our website.
BEYOND VISUALS – FREE WEBINAR FOR STA MEMBERS
STA member benefits partners Patton’d Studios will be hosting a free webinar for members on October 21 at 10am AEDT.
This webinar will show you how to turn your research findings into high-impact designs to include grant applications, annual reports or to communicate more effectively to stakeholders.
For more info and to register, visit our website.
WOMEN IN AVIATION EMERGING LEADERS VIRTUAL FORUM
The Emerging Leaders Virtual Forum brings together the next generation of aviation professionals alongside innovative speakers and leaders of today’s industry.
Proudly Sponsored by BOEING Australia, this year’s forum will be the first virtual forum and is designed to cultivate innovative ideas, share career pathways, and various support networks into the aviation aerospace and space sectors through collaboration and interactive discussion with students from year 8 – 12 and current leaders in their fields.
The forum will take place on 30 October 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. Register to attend today.
EXCITON SCIENCE INDUSTRY CONNECT PROGRAM WORKSHOP
The first workshop of the new Exciton Science Industry Connect Program will be held on Wednesday 14 October from 1.00- 4.30pm.
Joseph Dodd of CSIRO will facilitate the event on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Industry’s Innovation Connections initiative. The theme of the workshop is “Establishing early collaboration for competitive advantage”, and it will feature presentations by Professors Paul Mulvaney and Jacek Jasieniak, as well as Dr Girish Lakhwani. Register to attend today.
AUSTRALIA-GERMANY RESEARCH NETWORK CONFERENCE
The inaugural AGRN2020 Conference is a free online event taking place on 12th October for stakeholders from research, higher education, industry and government to connect, network and discuss current developments in German-Australian research cooperation. Join the conversation – register today.
$5K SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR WOMEN LEADERS IN STEM
Women in Leadership Australia are offering scholarships for participants to take part in one of three leadership courses. The scholarships are available to women located across the country, in the science and technology sector. Workshops included are suitable for junior managers through to executive level women.
Expressions of Interest are open until 4th December (unless allocated prior) – register here.
AMSA SIGNS AQUATIC SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES WORLD CLIMATE STATEMENT
The Australian Marine Sciences Association recently signed the Aquatic Scientific Societies World Climate Statement, joining a total of 111 professional societies representing over 80,000 scientists from all continents. This is the largest number of scientific societies ever to contribute to a statement on climate change.
STA MEMBER CONFERENCES/MEMBER EVENTS/EVENTS OF INTEREST
- 16 -18 October – PSY2020, the Australian Psychological Society’s new annual conference for all psychologists;
- 21 October – Demystifying Quantum, hosted by Cicada Innovations & EQUS (the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems);
- 26 November – Australian Physiological Society’s Student and ECR Forum. An opportunity for students and ECR’s to showcase their research;
- 7 December – AustMS Early-Career Workshop. The ECW is intended for current HDR students and ECRs. More info and the registration form here.
GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
- Applications are now being sought to support events for National Science Week in August 2021. Applications close on 28 October 2020 and can be made through their website.
- NSW Government COVID-19 Innovation Districts R&D Challenges program is now open for applications. Find out more and apply.
STA MEMBER STORIES
STA MEMBERS SHINE IN WA PREMIER’S SCIENCE AWARDS
The highest honour at the 2020 WA Premier’s Science Awards, Scientist of the Year, was jointly awarded to Professor Steven Tingay (member of the Astronomical Society of Australia) and Professor Ryan Lister (member of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology).
Professor Tingray is an internationally renowned radio astronomer, spanning astrophysics, engineering, instrumentation, high performance computing, and project governance. Professor Tingay has written major papers across a broad range of topics in astrophysics and is the driving force behind the $50 million Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Professor Tingay was appointed a WA Premier’s Fellow in 2007. His personal research has resulted in over 280 refereed publications, accumulating over 12,000 citations.
Professor Lister is a pioneer in the field of epigenomics, the study of the molecular code that controls gene activity. He generated the world’s first complete maps of the human epigenome, and his groundbreaking research in plant and animal systems has revolutionized our understanding of genome regulation, stem cell biology, and brain development. Professor Lister has also spearheaded the formation of Genomics WA, a new cutting-edge genomics research facility to serve scientists across Western Australia.
STA offers our sincere congratulations to both Professor Tingray and Professor Lister on this illustrious achievement!