FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said research efforts at the University of New England are set to receive a boost following the release of programme guidelines for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
In particular, the UNE will share in the Australian Government’s allocation of $150 million in 2015-16 to NCRIS facilities with two projects, the Australian National Data Service [ANDS] and Research Data Storage Infrastructure [RDSI], that are being run across a number of institutions.
Mr Joyce speaking on behalf of the Australian Government said a stronger research sector is vital to a prosperous future for Australia.
“This latest NCRIS announcement shows that the Australian Government is serious about supporting their essential work,” Mr Joyce said.
“NCRIS delivers world class national scale research facilities so that Australian researchers can solve complex problems both here in Australia and around the globe.”
UNE Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan said this funding enhances UNE’s research efforts by facilitating easier collaboration between universities both in Australia and overseas.
“The work that is being undertaken now will benefit researchers for years to come as they will be able to utilise and reuse safe and reliable research data in a timely manner,” Professor Duncan said.
The allocation of $150 million is the first half of the Government’s $300 million commitment over two years, including $150 million for 2016-17 committed in the recent Federal Budget.
The NCRIS facilities support a wide range of nationally significant research outcomes, including:
better understanding of health outcomes by sharing information from patients,
breakthroughs in cancer testing leading to more personalised treatment,
deepening our understanding of the oceans, our fisheries, weather and climate,
breakthroughs in quantum computing,
improved crop productivity, and
more detailed environmental monitoring for planning and remediation.
The extension of funding will allow NCRIS to continue while the Australian Government considers a sustainable long term funding strategy after the review of research infrastructure, chaired by Mr Philip Marcus Clark AM, which will report in mid-2015.
The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the UNE was included in funding allocations to the 27 critical facilities and partner organisation that make up the NCRIS network.
The 2015-16 NCRIS guidelines can be found at www.education.gov.au/ncris