The Federal Government has launched its plan for the future of Australian research, and it is strongly industry-linked.

Details on the new Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research strategy are available here

Ignoring the fact that many amazing breakthroughs come from seemingly unrelated research, the ministers for Education, Industry and Science, and Health say the new scheme will turn ideas and breakthroughs into commercial results.

Just over a week after cutting funding to the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program, Macfarlane says “there is much to celebrate”.

“CRCs have a proud history and have enjoyed notable successes over the years,” he said at the launch of the Cooperative Research Centres Association conference.

“They’re highly regarded both here in Australia and internationally.”

He said the Government had taken on every one of lawyer and businessperson David Miles’ recommendations, which were made after his recent review.

“Once again, I want to compliment David Miles for his close and thorough attention to the task,” Macfarlane said.

“Mr Miles presented us with 18 thoughtful and perceptive recommendations and last week I announced that the Government had agreed with all of them.

“They mean that the CRC programme will continue but with a more industry targeted focus.

“It’s appropriate that, more than ever before, we ensure that we get the top value for every dollar that we invest in research.”

A new CRC Advisory Committee has been formed to work between the Government and researchers to implement the recommendations of the review and oversee the revised CRC Programme.

It will be led by business figures Philip Clark AM, working with Dr Megan Clark AC, Dr Michele Allan and Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC.

Macfarlane said the Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research strategy would fix old problems.

“In my view, the current funding model puts the boot on the wrong foot by overwhelmingly rewarding researchers for producing highly cited publications ahead of collaboration with industry,” he said.

“There’s no reason they can’t do both, but we want them developing highly cited collaborations as a priority.”