Science and Technology Australia has outlined a bold vision for a ‘STEM-smart recovery’ for Australia.
In a supplementary pre-budget submission, the peak body proposes a series of clever strategic investments to drive major jobs growth, build on Australia’s existing STEM strengths, and build back stronger out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Science and Technology Australia (STA) represents over 80,000 scientists and technologists spanning both the public and private sectors.
Even as the nation has relied on our STEM workforce to save lives amid the pandemic, the science and research sectors have been hit hard – and are now poised on the edge of a funding cliff.
The submission lays out a clear blueprint for the Australian Government to safeguard the vital national strategic asset of our science and research capability – and put it to work on the recovery.
This work draws inspiration from the strategy being pursued by the United Kingdom under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who plans to double research and development outlays to reach £22 billion by 2024-25.
In the supplementary submission to the federal Budget, STA proposes the Australian Government:
Science and Technology Australia President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie said the proposed strategic investments would be “a powerful foundation for a budget that invests strongly in new job creation and strengthens Australia’s traditional industrial base.”
“This plan would create Australian jobs by bringing science and technology more deeply into service across our economy including in farming, manufacturing and other traditional industries.”
“There is a vast task of economic and social recovery ahead for our nation. We offer the skills, goodwill and commitment of the nation’s science, technology, engineering and maths sector – and its highly skilled workforce – to this major national effort.”
“Australia’s STEM sector has come into its own time and again during this pandemic.”
“Now we want to see the Government make clever new strategic investments to bring that same powerful contribution to the urgent task of economic and social recovery,” Professor Brownlie said.