The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) has released a discussion paper about the development of a 2011 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure which will identify Australia’s national research infrastructure priority areas.

The 2011 Roadmap, to be overseen by the National Research Infrastructure Council (NRIC), is the third to be developed. The first was released in 2006 as part of the implementation of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). The second, released in 2008,  formed the basis for the Australian Government’s 2009 Super Science Initiative.

The 2011 Roadmap will once again focus on Capability areas, and will not aim to identify specific items of infrastructure, but will identify areas where public investment in research infrastructure will make a significant difference to Australia’s research and innovation outcomes. It will be primarily concerned with medium to large-scale research infrastructure.

The Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) has released its Strategic Directions report setting out priorities for renewable energy technology development and recommending initiatives to support development, commercialisation and large scale deployment.

A new manufacturing process using organic fibres to make planks for shipping pallets, developed by Biofiba Limited, based at Gosford, NSW, has been awarded funding of up to $1.97 million from CSIRO’s Australian Growth Partnership (AGP).

Shanghai-based Baosteel Group has partnered with The University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Monash University, and the University of Wollongong to establish the Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre.

IP Australia and NZ Ministry of Economic Development have released the discussion paper for a trans-Tasman patent attorney regulatory framework.

A leader and recognised expert in the field of water management and quality, Adjunct Professor Don Bursill AM, has been appointed as South Australia’s new Chief Scientist.

The importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research and building the current and future workforce were reinforced at the NHMRC Indigenous Scientific Forum, held recently in Canberra.

The AMA has joined leading science, medical and research groups in calling on the Government to increase or at least maintain current levels of health and medical research funding.

CSIRO has launched a new Climate and Health Cluster, with funding of  $3.15 million over three years from CSIRO’s Flagship Collaboration Fund.

First stage applications for funding of urban water innovation projects under the Open Innovation Stream of the Smart Water Fund have been called and will close on Friday April 8.

The chairman of the Western Australian Technology and Industry Advisory Council (TIAC)l, Charles Morgan, has resigned after four months in the job, reportedly because he was frustrated that research and development were not being taken seriously by the WA Government.

Hydrologist Dr Tony Minns has been appointed as the first Director of the $50 million Goyder Institute for Water Research.

The Northern Territory has called for applications from businesses and research organisations for the latest round of  the NT Research and Innovation Grants.

CSIRO has launched Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia to help inform business, government, and the community about the many issues that need to be addressed in response to climate change.

The Queensland Government has announced the first round of recipients for 2011 under the Queensland Health’s Office of Health and Medical Research (OHMR) fellowship program.

Melbourne-based pharmaceutical company Biota has been awarded a $231 million contract to develop a cure for influenza by a US anti-bioterrorism unit.

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