The federal government is committed the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in a partnership to help administer the $18.2 million strategic element of its Global Fund for Science and Technology Diplomacy.
The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Sciences (AAS) will distribute grants over four years. Researchers can submit grant applications on the $18.2 million strategic element when it opens later in 2022.
ATSE has been tasked with funding international collaborative projects in four priority areas; advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, hydrogen production, and RNA-based vaccines and therapies, including mRNA.
Science and Technology Minister Melissa Price said it would support the development of science capacity in Australia.
“This fund will provide Australian researchers and businesses with the skills, knowledge and global opportunities to ensure our country remains at the forefront of science and technology innovation, while solving some of the global challenges we face,” said said Minister Price.
“Investing in science and technology is particularly important as we work to emerge from the COVID pandemic, and this fund will support economic recovery while building our international science and technology capacity.
“The fund provides access to the world’s best knowledge, technology and research infrastructure in key areas, equipping Australian researchers and businesses with the tools they need to support our economic recovery and future prosperity.”
The $60.2 million Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund was announced in the 2021 Federal Budget to replace the Global Innovation Strategy launched in 2016. As such, it incorporates earlier programs such as the Global Innovation Linkages program which started as part of the Turnbull Government‘s National Innovation Program. and science program.
The Commonwealth has identified the following international partners for 2022 based on their research track record, impactful collaboration potential and other data analysis.
- Advanced manufacturing: USA, Italy, UK, France, Switzerland
- Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing: Japan, UK, France, Spain, US
- Hydrogen production: Germany, Canada, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand
- RNA vaccines and therapies (including mRNA): United States, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Singapore.
ATSE chief executive Kylie Walker said there were a number of mutual benefits for Australia and its international research partners.
“By increasing connections between Australian STEM leaders and global partners, we have a unique opportunity to unlock access to international networks that can strengthen our sovereign capabilities, grow our economy and strengthen our international reputation in science and technology in a winner, winner, winner,” says Ms. Walker.
Similarly, AAS Foreign Secretary Professor Elaine Sadler said international collaboration was important in boosting Australia’s science and technology research and commercialization efforts.
The fund also includes a bilateral tranche which will continue to be managed by the Ministry of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. This is further separated into two separate funds for collaboration with India and China.
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