The Prime Minister announced a National Innovation and Science Agenda on Monday 7 December 2015.

The Agenda comprises 4 key areas of which the second “Working Together” is directly relevant to researchers at UWA in that it seeks to increase research collaborations between universities and industry.

Changes Include:

  • ARC Linkage Scheme - a shift in ARC Linkage grants from once yearly to continuous application (anticipated to commence 1 July 2016)
  • Block Funding - research income from industry and other end users (Cats 2, 3, & 4) will have equal weight (50/50) to competitive grant income (Cat 1). Exact details on the expected transition arrangements are not yet available.
  • Research Training Funding - Student HDR completions and Cat 1-4 research income will have equal weighting (50/50). Of the research income component, Cat 1 income and Cats 2, 3 and 4 income will have equal weighting. Exact details on the expected transition arrangements are not yet available.
  • NCRIS – the National collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy will continue to receive funding ($1.5 billion) over the next 10 years to drive collaboration between researchers, government and industry. The Synchrotron and SKA will also receive additional funding.
  • A new round of CRCs and the introduction of CRC-projects for grants up to $3 million for 3 years.
  • New measures of research impact and end-user engagement (yet to be finalised but likely based on metrics proposed by ATSE), with a pilot assessment likely to be conducted as a companion exercise with the ERA in 2017.
  • Expansion of Research Connections scheme – matching grants will be available to place researchers in business and business researchers in universities and research organisations.

These changes are subject to legislation (i.e. have to be passed by Parliament) with varying dates of commencement. We have analysed the expected impact on UWA and are reviewing the changes we would need to implement to capitalise on these changes. Further updates will be provided when more information is available.