The 24th meeting of the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) was held Monday, 9 July in Brisbane where members gathered for the second time this year.

The main focus of the meeting was a discussion on the future of Australian science, technology and innovation. Among other matters, the Council considered whether doctoral research programs in Australia were adequately preparing graduates for working as researchers either in the business sector or closely with the business sector; and the importance of international research collaboration with key partner countries to ensure Australia benefits from strong research impact.

Council agreed to consider existing policy models internationally and develop a strategic approach to implementing targeted priorities for Commonwealth research expenditure. It was also agreed to undertake targeted consultation to determine the top ten breakthrough actions necessary to achieve strong links between research and industry that would drive innovation and productivity growth for Australia. Progress on both activities will be presented at the next council meeting.

Members also defined the Council’s three-year forward work program which will include consideration of reports prepared by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACoLA) under the overarching theme of –Securing Australia’s Future’.

ACoLA will be covering agreed topics such as Australia’s comparative advantage with regard to our environment, biodiversity, location and culture; the place of Australian science in the Asian Century; the role of science in lifting Australian productivity; new technologies; and engineering energy which is intended to explore unconventional gas options.

PMSEIC will reconvene again later in the year.

A copy of the paper presented by the Office of the Chief Scientist can be downloaded here: PMSEIC.