Advanced manufacturing named priority area in rejigged research diplomacy fund


A $60 million fund announced in last year’s budget to support “strategically important science and technology collaborations” internationally features Advanced Manufacturing as a priority research area, with the fund also gaining a new “strategic element”.

The Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund was introduced in the 2021/2022 federal budget as a measure to consolidate international programs and focus on research themes identified as strategically important.

A statement from science and technology minister Melissa Price on Thursday said the fund included Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing, Hydrogen Production and RNA (including mRNA) Vaccines and Therapies as its 2022 priority areas of research cooperation. Priority areas would be re-evaluated annually.

The selection of these was based “extensive stakeholder engagement” according to the minister, who said the fund would “provide Australian researchers and businesses with the skills, knowledge and global opportunities to ensure our nation remains at the forefront of science and technological innovation.”

The GSTDF consolidated programs in the Global Innovation Strategy, introduced by the former Malcolm Turnbull Coalition government in 2016, including the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) and the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF.) These are now maintained under the GSTDF.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science will implement the new strategic element of the Fund “under an $18.2 million grant agreement” with the bilateral element remaining administered by the department of industry. 

Picture: Nick Pitsas/CSIRO

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