Media release

Six science and technology priorities for our next government

The future prosperity of Australia will depend on embracing new technology to address critical national challenges.

That’s the view of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, which today released an agenda covering six science and technology priority themes to guide the next Federal Government.

Academy President, Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, said the Academy had identified key priorities where immediate action would result in significant benefit to Australia.

“We are a Learned Academy that brings together Australia’s leading experts in applied science, technology and engineering to provide impartial, practical and evidence-based advice on how to achieve sustainable solutions and advance prosperity.

“The nation has significant opportunities to use technology to mitigate climate change, reduce the cost of healthcare, provide data security and privacy for consumers, improve STEM education and reduce urban congestion.

“We will make our priority proposals available to all parties and hope they will guide the policy settings of the incoming Federal Government.”

Proposals include:

  • Develop economic opportunities through leadership in low emission technologies – for example, by supplying value-added raw materials for energy storage technologies.
  • Adopt standards and policies that support a transition to low-emission vehicles, including support for infrastructure such as charging networks, which should be supplied by low-emission energy sources.
  • Redesign the healthcare compensation system to encourage healthcare providers to adopt preventative technologies that will improve quality of life and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Enact data protection legislation that ensures consumer privacy (such as provided by Europe’s GDPR), and makes enterprises responsible for the protection of the consumer data they hold (including criminal charges for negligence causing data breaches).
  • Ensure high-quality, discipline-specific teacher training in STEM subjects and phase out the out-of-field teaching of STEM subjects in years 7 to 10.
  • Develop a national gender equity framework tailored for small and medium enterprises, which includes a toolkit of proven actions to advance gender equity without regulatory burden.

Read the full statement or download a PDF.

For interviews contact: David Glanz, david.glanz@atse.org.au or 0438 547 723.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy operating as an independent, non-political and expert think tank that helps Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.