17 December 2018

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) is disappointed by the Government’s decision in today’s MYEFO to cut research funding by $197 million – taking the total cut from 2018 to $328.5m.

The Government will reduce university funding under the Research Block Grants Scheme. The size of the cuts announced this year alone are more than one third of the total amount announced for the National Innovation and Science Agenda at the last election. These cuts also come on the heels of the funding freeze which ended the demand-driven system for participation in higher education.

Research drives innovation, economic development and social change. Reducing research funding will hinder Australia’s capacity to remain competitive on the international stage. The cut to the Research Block Grant will significantly hinder the development of Australia’s research talent pipeline, which could have long-lasting implications.

ATN Executive Director Renee Hindmarsh says ATN universities have always committed to real world research with real world application. The cuts to research funding will significantly constrain the capacity for our universities to stand at the forefront of efforts to meet the challenges of the future.

To maintain Australia’s competitive advantage, we must continue innovating to ensure our key sectors remain at the cutting edge of technology.

‘The ATN will continue to advocate for a funding commitment that supports better outcomes for our society,’ says Ms Hindmarsh.