The Role of Australian Science in Shaping Australia’s Future

On April 11, 2024, the Australian Academy of Science expressed its support for the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the introduction of the Future Made in Australia Act. President of the Academy, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, emphasized the importance of Australian science in shaping the future of the country. He stated that science plays a crucial role in fostering innovation and supporting industry development.

Professor Jagadish highlighted the challenges faced by the Australian science sector in terms of research and development (R&D) policy inconsistencies and inadequate investments over the past two decades. He noted that without a clear understanding of the science capabilities and a strategic plan to address them, the nation’s aspirations may not be met.

The President stressed the vital connection between science and economic growth, emphasizing the need for a modernized science system that can effectively contribute to national development. He pointed out that Australia lags behind other countries, such as the US, China, Japan, the EU, and the Republic of Korea, in leveraging science for enhancing economic resilience and achieving self-sufficiency in key sectors.

Professor Jagadish underscored the importance of aligning industrial policy with a robust science system, calling for a long-term commitment to increase government investments in R&D and encourage greater expenditure by other sectors. He emphasized the need for a strategic roadmap to boost innovation, productivity, and industrial capability in Australia for long-term sustainable growth.

By Samantha Robertson

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