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A three-fold return on public investment from Australian Research Council-funded research highlights “strong economy-powering returns” for taxpayers from university research – and makes the case to double the ARC grants budget to back more of Australia’s brilliant researchers to be first to bold breakthroughs.

major independent study released today examines the economic returns generated by research grants made under the funding body’s National Competitive Grants Program. It finds every dollar invested in Australian research under the program generates $3.32 in economic returns for the country.

The Impact Assessment of ARC-funded Research report also found that ARC-funded research from 2002–21 will increase economic output for Australia by $184.3 billion, boost the income of Australians by $152.5 billion, and create 6,570 jobs per year across Australia.

“An investment in Australian research is an investment in our country’s future,” said Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert.

“This economic modelling shows the crucial role research plays in generating economic growth, powering job creation and productivity, and putting more wealth into the pockets of Australians.”

“It makes a compelling argument for a significant boost in research funding. Right now Australian R&D spending is dangerously low and in free fall – last week it slumped to just 1.68% of GDP.”

“That’s well below the OECD average of 2.74% and a country mile from the 3% target Australia needs.”

“These figures also show the cost of under-investment in Australian research. Every dollar not spent on research is $3.32 in economic activity lost. Imagine how many jobs could be created, how much wealth generated, and how many life-improving advancements could be invented through a powerful boost to the nation’s research funding.”

“A bold boost to Australian research funding is an urgent imperative. It’s what will create the jobs, services, and products of tomorrow, and the future “powered by science” the Prime Minister has called for.”

About Science & Technology Australia
Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our  flagship programs include Science Meets ParliamentSuperstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.

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