The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has welcomed the sharp focus on reaching net zero emissions outlined in the draft National Science and Research Priorities released by Minister Ed Husic today.
The four priorities underscore the critical role for Australian science, engineering and technology in tackling our urgent challenges and charting a roadmap for a sustainable future.
ATSE CEO, Kylie Walker, said the spotlight on creating a net zero future and protecting our unique biodiversity is welcome and underscores the deep community concern for climate change and the need to urgently decarbonise our economy.
“The National Priorities give direction and common purpose for great Australian research and innovation, providing a roadmap for a more sustainable future. This framework not only highlights the urgency of addressing carbon emissions, but also acknowledges the broader challenges facing Australia, including safeguarding our environment, and enhancing our resilience in the face of a changing climate.
“It is critical however to put greater emphasis on the skills and capabilities which will be fundamental to move the needle on the priorities and bolstering research and development investment to reach 3% of GDP. This will be critical to truly make Australia an innovation nation,” said Kylie Walker.
As highlighted by ATSE during the consultation process, targeted focus and investment in infrastructure, transport, and energy is essential for reducing carbon emissions and achieving net zero emissions.
While ATSE welcomes other objectives featured in the draft priorities, such as climate resilience in our built environment, food security and preventative health, which were highlighted in ATSE’s submission, it is imperative that we also recognise the role of manufacturing in strengthening Australia’s resilience.
A robust and innovative manufacturing sector will foster technological advancement and bolster Australia’s sovereign capability.
The draft priorities also embed Traditional Knowledge and Knowledge Systems throughout. As highlighted in ATSE’s submission, the deep wisdom held and lived by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in land and water management, agriculture and the built environment should be considered an opportunity and enabler for scientific advancement, economic prosperity and sustainability.
“Incorporating Traditional Knowledge Systems into the draft priorities is not just a recognition of our past but a critical pathway towards our future. It will guide us in shaping a better Australia and world,” said Kylie Walker.
ATSE looks forward to further engagement in the consultation, and will continue to recommend a more significant emphasis on critical skills and capabilities and funding needed to meet the challenges outlined in the priorities.
ATSE thanks the Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM FAA FTSE, and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR), for incorporating ATSE’s feedback throughout the process of developing the draft priorities.
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