In strapped times, science smartest investment: October Budget 2022

New measures to support Australia’s strategic science capabilities in tonight’s Federal Budget handed down by Treasurer Jim Chalmers are a smart investment to transform our economy.

2022 October Federal Budget

Science & Technology Australia President Professor Mark Hutchinson said:

“In strapped budget times, science is the most important strategic investment a nation can make.”

“It’s good to see continued support for research commercialisation along with modest but important new investments in strategic science capabilities for Australia’s economy.”

“The announcements in this budget deepen investment in Australian science and technology expertise. They will position us to seize opportunities to build capabilities – including in tackling climate change and boosting clean energy technology – that will be transformative to the complexity of the Australian economy.”

“The strong support for equity in STEM will create opportunities to tap into the full talent pool in this country.”

“We’re delighted to see further investment in inspiring the next generation of young Australians to see themselves in a future powered by science.”

“The next task will be to map out a plan to deepen investment in discovery science to make the next wave of big and bold breakthroughs to secure Australia’s future prosperity.”

Key initiatives of interest to the STEM sector in the October 2022 Budget include:

  • 15 billion to establish the National Reconstruction Fund to diversify and transform Australia’s economy (over seven years).
  • $47.2 million in Australian science and technology talent (over six years) including:
    • $13.5 million to strengthen Australia’s capability to nurture critical technologies.
    • $10 million to continue delivery of Questacon outreach to engage young Australians and science teachers in science education (over three years).
    • $5.8 million to support women in STEM through funding for the WISE program and the planned review of Women in STEM programs (over five years).
    • $4.8 million to fund 20 PhD scholarships in quantum and deepen collaboration on quantum technologies by universities (over four years).
    • $2.9 million to bolster the Prime Minister’s National Science and Technology Council’s science and technology advice and support the PM’s Prizes for Science.
    • $10.3 million to host the International Science Council’s regional secretariat for the Asia Pacific in Australia (over six years).
  • $14.1 million over four years to teach First Nations languages in schools.
  • $14 million to bolster Australia’s biosecurity systems and support neighbour nations battling outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease.
  • $8 million to support commercialisation of seaweed as a low emissions stock feed (over 3 years).
  • $99 million to support justice reinvestment and initiatives on First Nations justice (over 4 years).
  • $7.5 million for an anti-racism strategy and extend the ‘Racism. It Stops with Me.’ campaign (over 4 years).

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