ATSE calls for boost to national R&D effort

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has called for an urgent increase in national R&D investment, as well of wide-spread use of low-impact technologies in the mining sector.

According to the academy, the mining sector continues to be an essential part of the Australian economy, but practices must adapt to reduce impact on the environmental and cultural landscape across the nation.

However Australia’s national R&D effort has been falling from a high of around two percent of GDP for the past decade, and now stands at levels half those of the leading OECD nations.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker released a position statement on the sector which calls on respectful collaboration beyond the STEM sector, and the need to build partnerships across key sectors such as research organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, government, and industry.

Walker said: “The mineral resources sector in Australia is essential for the global green energy movement. Our nation can set itself apart by being a provider with high ethical, social, and environmental standards which other countries like those in Europe require.”

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a strong framework for the shift towards a sustainable mining and mineral resources industry.

ATSE wants mineral exploration and mining companies, together with Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) businesses, government organisations, and industry representative bodies across the sector to use the SDGs as a framework to improve the sustainability and safety of operations, processes, and investments.

“We are also experiencing a shortage of skills in the mining sector.

“Aligning the mineral and mining sector with the SDGs ensures that careers in this sector offer young people opportunities to make positive change and transition the country to green energy in an inclusive and sustainable way.”

Image: ATSE

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