The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) welcomes the Federal Government’s $1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda as a critical boost to Australian research and innovation.

“Today’s announcement confirms the Australian Government’s commitment to research and innovation as stepping stones to Australia’s future prosperity in a STEM driven global economy,” said AMSI Director, Professor Geoff Prince.

In particular, a $99 million investment in STEM education will deliver a much-needed boost to digital literacy and education outcomes in mathematics, science, technology and engineering.

“AMSI’s Discipline Profile 2015 highlights the extent of Australia’s STEM education crisis. This investment ensure future generations are prepared to take advantage of innovation and industry leadership opportunities to secure the nation’s long-term prosperity,” said Professor Prince.

A blue print for future prosperity, the policy outlines key measures to strengthen science, innovation and industry and future proof the economy. Included in the agenda is a $13 million commitment to increase participation of women in research, as well as STEM and start-up industries.

“This investment is critical as we seek to rewrite the traditional narrative underscoring career planning for girls and encourage greater pursuit of higher-level mathematics and STEM studies. Government action will reinforce gender initiatives such as AMSI’s Choose Maths program funded by BHP Billiton Foundation,” says Professor Prince

Australia’s employment landscape is experiencing rapid change, with over half of current jobs tipped for automation and 75 per cent of employment growth areas requiring STEM skills. Reforms encouraging entrepreneurship and equipping Australians as innovation leaders are critical as we prepare for new industry opportunities.

“This policy marks a critical shift towards a risk embracing research culture that recognises the powerful economic contribution of scientific discovery and innovation,” says Professor Prince.

Results from last week’s release of the ARC’s ERA Excellence in Research For Australia 2015 – 2016 show we have the research talent to underpin this investment, with the mathematical sciences coming in at and above world standards across Australia.

“Australian Universities currently have the research talent to drive an innovation and research economy. Our challenge is to ensure an ongoing supply of skilled graduates to meet the demands of strengthened collaboration between universities, research and industry,” says Professor Prince.

AMSI has been an active participant in consultation for both today’s National Innovation and Research Agenda and the ACOLA research training review. Vision for a Maths Nation outlines AMSI’s position on STEM and the pathway to future prosperity in Australia.

For Interview:
Professor Geoff Prince, Director, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute

Media Contact:
Laura Watson
P: 0421 518 733

Resources for media
Discipline Profile 2015
Vision for a Maths Nation
ERA Excellence in Research for Australia 2015-16