Advocates say sustained momentum is needed for technological change in Australia. 

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has called for immediate and sustained investment in Australian science and innovation to ensure the success of the ‘Future Made In Australia’ initiative. 

This follows the Federal Budget's commitments to review the nation's research and development (R&D) investments and support clean energy industries. 

ATSE says that delays in funding could hinder progress.

Australia currently invests less than 3 per cent of its GDP in R&D, lagging behind countries like the United States, Japan, and Germany. 

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker has highlighted the importance of a robust and well-funded science and technology sector to drive innovation, particularly in clean energy.

“Investments in battery manufacturing, renewable green hydrogen production, and critical minerals processing are central to the nation’s net zero ambitions; these are areas where we have a comparative advantage in the global supply chain and which are fundamental for the jobs of the future,” Walker said this week. 

She stressed that achieving these goals requires a solid foundation of scientific and technological advancements.

ATSE supports the Budget's allocation of $1.1 billion over five years for the initial reforms of the Universities Accord, focusing on equity and access to higher education. 

This includes funding for selected student placements and limiting the indexation of HECS-HELP loans. Walker praised the needs-based funding system, which aims to support under-represented students and prepare the future STEM workforce.

Additionally, ATSE welcomed several budgetary measures aimed at decarbonisation, water and environment, education and skills, industry and research, and digital technologies.