29 September 2023

Submission on Australia’s draft National Science and Research Priorities

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The National Science and Research Priorities outline the critical role of research in tackling the nation’s most pressing challenges over the coming decade, charting an ambitious, transdisciplinary research agenda.

ATSE broadly endorses the draft National Science and Research Priorities and their mission-oriented approach. However, the structure could be strengthened by outlining a vision statement, and adding a new priority to highlight Traditional Knowledge (while ensuring Traditional Knowledge is woven throughout the other priorities). To enable implementation of the Priorities, ATSE urges the Australian Government to develop an investment plan, including increasing research funding to viable levels. This submission also puts forward suggestions for refinement of the Priorities.

ATSE makes the following recommendations to implement and strengthen the Priorities:

Recommendation 1: Elevate the Priority ‘Building a stronger, more resilient nation’ to be a vision statement.

Recommendation 2: Add a stand-alone Priority to celebrate Traditional Knowledge and Knowledge Systems in science, research and technology.

Recommendation 3: Increase research funding to 3% of GDP.

Recommendation 4: Develop a plan for how the Priorities will inform research investment.

Recommendation 5: Embed education and digital technologies as enablers and critical research areas for the Priorities.

Recommendation 6: Refine the objectives, aims and critical research of the Priorities to comprehensively reflect national strengths and challenges.