The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) suggests most strongly the Australian Government be a champion of research and development. A greater national commitment to research and development (R&D) is a proven way to develop a strong foundation for securing Australia’s future. More and better research support is an investment which contributes handsomely to fiscal sustainability – and much more.
More details on delivering on this are given below. ASSA recommends that the Government:
- Articulate a Strong Vision: commit to clear steps towards matching the current OECD average for R&D as a share of GDP of 2.4% by 2025, and the current OECD Best Practice frontier of 3% by 2030.
- Seize Simple Available Options: deploy already available endowment funds for research infrastructure, including for social innovation through research in areas such as disability and health.
- Utilise Existing Expertise: draw on the combined expertise of the Learned Academies in designing grant processes for enhanced national benefit.
- Display Ingenuity: underpin research investment aspirations by implementing a new innovative income-contingent loan scheme for R&D that will partner universities with industry.
These four steps would contribute greatly to a budget strategy that delivers growth with equity and sustainability. ASSA stands ready to assist with further development of these policy initiatives.