National Science and Technology Council: Tenth meeting

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The tenth meeting of the National Science and Technology Council was held via videoconference on 7 July 2021. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Christian Porter MP.

Minister Porter opened the meeting, and invited members to provide opening remarks and insights from their relevant fields of expertise. Members raised topics of interest including skills for the future workforce, attraction and retention of academic staff and researchers, advances in the measurement of soil carbon, and challenges for global supply chains.

The Council’s Executive Officer, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM, led a discussion on potential topics for the Council’s forward work plan. Council members indicated those topics of highest priority with the work plan to be finalised out of session. 

The Council was briefed on the Government’s digital technology agenda by representatives of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The presentation included information on the Digital Economy Strategy, AI Action Plan, and the Government’s work on critical technologies. Council members discussed these initiatives and provided insights.

Minister Porter welcomed Mr Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency to lead a discussion on the Council’s pilot Rapid Response Information draft report. Professor Brian Schmidt, as sponsor for this work, presented the draft report on how opportunities for STEM skills required in the space sector are being addressed by the tertiary (university and VET) education sector. Mr Palermo and Council members discussed the draft report highlights and the Council’s pilot approach to providing Rapid Response Information to government.

The next Council meeting will be held on 23 September 2021.

Last updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2021