It has been a busy couple of months and we have much to report!
Most of the activity surrounds the handing down of the 2018 Federal Budget and associated announcements. As most of you will be aware $1.9B of new Commonwealth funding was announced on budget night to support investment in national research infrastructure through the NCRIS program. This adds to the existing operational funds committed under NISA to bring the total investment to $4.1B over 12 years.
We would like to congratulate and thank the NCRIS team for their tireless work over recent years attempting to secure this funding which will benefit all Australian researchers.
AuScope is pleased to announce that $1.5M of new capital funding was allocated to the earth and geospatial sciences and that $40M of NISA funding will be available to support our program over the next five years.
Continuity of operational funding for AuScope over this period will ensure that Australia’s earth and geospatial science research infrastructure facilities continue to support the outstanding research that is being undertaken in the Earth’s most unique natural laboratory – the Australian Continent.
AuScope would also like to congratulate its Geospatial team at Geoscience Australia who were able to secure additional new funding for a number of programs under the National Positioning Infrastructure Program. This is an outstanding result that highlights the impact of various iterations of AuScope investment, from both NCRIS and EIF programs, in the national geospatial capability managed by Geoscience Australia. A statement from GA’s CEO, Dr. James Johnson on Budget 2018 is available here.
AuScope’s latest plans for investment in substantial, new infrastructure and technologies that will underpin world leading industries in mining, energy, water and environment will continue to be developed in order to be implemented when additional funding becomes available toward the end of the current 4-year investment cycle.
To this end, and together with the nation’s Earth and Geospatial Sciences community, AuScope will now prepare to secure the next stage of investment over the next 18 months, starting with an independent review of its programs in June 2018, and community-wide Strategy Workshop in October 2018.
We look forward to engaging with all interested parties over the coming 6 months to ensure that the resulting investment plan will define a research infrastructure investment strategy that strongly supports the Australian earth and geospatial research community.
Dr. Tim Rawling
CEO, AuScope Limited