National Science and Technology Council Communiques https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/ en National Science and Technology Council: Fifth Meeting https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/news-and-media/national-science-and-technology-council-fifth-meeting <h1 class="au-header-heading">National Science and Technology Council: Fifth Meeting</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/11" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Amanda Caldwell</span></span> <span>Thu, 2020-04-16 14:25</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The fifth meeting of the National Science and Technology Council, and first meeting of 2020, was held via videoconference on 8 April 2020. The meeting was called by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, to specifically discuss science and technology aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Andrews reflected on the important role of science and technology in contributing to Australia’s response and rebuilding efforts after the crisis.   </p> <p>Newly appointed member Professor Fiona Wood AM was welcomed to her first meeting of the Council. Mr David Fredericks was also welcomed by Minister Andrews to his first meeting as the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Additionally, the meeting was attended by Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, Chair of the Health Industry Coordination Group (HICG), and Mr David Thodey AO, Deputy Chair of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).</p> <p>Ms Beauchamp briefed the Council on the important role of the HICG in coordinating the private sector, departments, states and territories to facilitate the procurement, production and delivery of vital medical resources around Australia. Both Ms Beauchamp and Minister Andrews reflected positively on the extensive level of translation and collaboration activity already underway between the scientific community and industry.</p> <p>Dr Marshall briefed the Council on the significant work being undertaken across Australia on various COVID-19 vaccines and therapies. Work to date has been very promising, with CSIRO quickly establishing a reliable biological model. Research organisations across Australia are also undertaking a range of clinical trials. Dr Marshall noted Australia’s strong position, particularly through work to ensure production of a successful vaccine can be scaled quickly.</p> <p>Dr Finkel spoke to his regular and constructive engagement with other Chief Scientific Advisers nationally and internationally. Both domestic and international advisers are actively and openly sharing vital information about their challenges and responses to key issues. A notable success has been the scholarly publishers’ response to the group’s call to make COVID-19 related publications and data immediately accessible in machine-readable format.  </p> <p>The Council was briefed by Mr Thodey on his role, and the purpose of the NCCC. Mr Thodey sought the Council’s views on how science and technology can best help Australia to recover from the wide range of effects of COVID-19. Members discussed the many impacts of the pandemic on education and research, but also highlighted the opportunities for these sectors to contribute to the recovery phase.</p> <p>Throughout the meeting, Council members reflected on the significant challenges facing all Australians, but also agreed that there had been major successes to date. Science, research and technology are delivering the solutions needed to navigate a path forward.</p> <p>The Council will meet again in May.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/NSTC_communiques" hreflang="en">National Science and Technology Council Communiques</a></li> </ul> </div> Thu, 16 Apr 2020 04:25:47 +0000 Amanda Caldwell 1347 at https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au National Science and Technology Council: Fourth Meeting https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/news-and-media/national-science-and-technology-council-fourth-meeting-0 <h1 class="au-header-heading">National Science and Technology Council: Fourth Meeting </h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/16" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ROettle</span></span> <span>Mon, 2019-11-18 12:23</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The fourth meeting of the National Science and Technology Council was held in Canberra on 13 November 2019, attended by Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, and Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP.</p> <p>Minister Andrews highlighted the ongoing work of the Council in areas of critical importance to Australia’s future, such as the adoption of new technologies and engaging students in STEM subjects.</p> <p>The Council discussed the contribution science, research and innovation (SRI) make to Australia, and how SRI endeavour can deliver benefits in the national interest, particularly generating and commercialising the new ideas and technology that drive job growth and productivity. Barriers to collaboration and translation of science and research into tangible positive impacts for Australian citizens were considered, along with the respective roles of research organisations, universities, industry and government in reducing these barriers.</p> <p>The Council discussed Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Minister Andrews noted the recent release of the AI Ethics Principles, and her AI summit <em>Techtonic: Shaping Australia’s AI Future</em> at Old Parliament House on 15 November 2019. The summit is the culmination of extensive work on AI across government, but also marks the beginning of the next phase of the conversation on how to maximise the benefits of AI for Australia. The Council will continue to provide advice on how Australia’s science and technology system is placed to deliver on these aspirations.</p> <p>Members continued the discussion from last meeting on lifelong learning in light of the release of the Provider Category Standards and Australian Qualification Framework reviews. The Council also discussed the advice it recently provided to the COAG Education Council on priority areas to ensure students stay engaged in STEM subjects throughout their school education. Building on and accelerating the work already underway across Australia is essential to improving student participation and performance in STEM. Members reaffirmed their commitment to continue attention on the STEM education pipeline as fundamental to the SRI system.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/NSTC_communiques" hreflang="en">National Science and Technology Council Communiques</a></li> </ul> </div> Mon, 18 Nov 2019 01:23:51 +0000 ROettle 1316 at https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au National Science and Technology Council: Third Meeting https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/news-and-media/national-science-and-technology-council-third-meeting <h1 class="au-header-heading">National Science and Technology Council: Third Meeting</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/16" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ROettle</span></span> <span>Thu, 2019-11-14 16:58</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The third meeting of the National Science and Technology Council was held in Brisbane on 26 August 2019, chaired by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, and joined by the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP.</p> <p>Minister Andrews reflected on the Council’s work program to date, and the importance of focussing on clear outcomes to address the critical science and technology issues for productivity, jobs and Australia’s economic growth.</p> <p>The Council was briefed on the development of an Australian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics Framework, and discussed the strong engagement from stakeholders in the consultation process. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science will continue to refine the ethics principles and will engage with the Council as this work progresses. The Council also considered the draft analysis of the opportunities for Australia in pursuing an AI for Manufacturing research challenge, and provided feedback to inform its further development. It was agreed that the final analysis would be considered at the Council’s fourth meeting for 2019, including a case study from CSIRO on the potential for assuring the provenance of Australian manufactured food.</p> <p>Lifelong learning and STEM skills are critical to securing meaningful jobs for Australians in the face of new and increasingly sophisticated technologies in our workplaces. The Council considered current policy work across government related to these issues and agreed that they would stay engaged to ensure there is a strong focus on science and technology relevant training.</p> <p>Council Member Professor Debra Henly outlined the further work she has led on STEM student engagement, and the need to keep developing the national evidence base and building capacity in the teacher workforce. Minister Tehan highlighted the ongoing work by the Department of Education in these areas and offered to engage further with the COAG Education Council on the Council’s findings, which was agreed. Beyond the education system, the Council will consider what else can be done to engage parents and industry in this national conversation about the importance of keeping students interested in STEM study.</p> <p>The Council considered the related but distinct issues of research integrity, quality and transparency, and the need to ensure ongoing public trust. It was agreed that Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel would continue to engage with members as well as stakeholders on these issues and report back at the next meeting.</p> <p>The Council will meet again in November in Canberra.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/NSTC_communiques" hreflang="en">National Science and Technology Council Communiques</a></li> </ul> </div> Thu, 14 Nov 2019 05:58:23 +0000 ROettle 1310 at https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au National Science and Technology Council: Second Meeting https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2019/06/national-science-and-technology-council-communique-second-meeting <h1 class="au-header-heading">National Science and Technology Council: Second Meeting</h1> <span><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span>Fri, 2019-06-21 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The National Science and Technology Council convened in Canberra on 21 June 2019 for its second meeting, chaired by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP.</p> <p>Minister Andrews welcomed Council members, and emphasised the high priority the Prime Minister and his Government have placed on progressing the Council’s work. The Minister reiterated that the Government considers science and technology critical to productivity, jobs and Australia’s economic growth. The Minister reflected on her recent attendance at the high-level G20 meeting on trade and the digital economy, hosted by Japan, and the importance of considering the human impacts of new technologies. The Council has an important leadership role in the conversation around how to ensure the benefits are realised across Australia’s communities and businesses.</p> <p>Members agreed that Australia’s capacity to compete relies on maximising engagement in science and technology, and supporting lifelong learning and skills development. The focus must be on securing a future in which meaningful jobs are available for all.</p> <p>The Minister noted the extensive work underway across government to boost capacity in Artificial Intelligence (AI) responsibly, including a recent national consultation on an Australian AI Ethics Framework and a research project to explore barriers to business adoption of AI. Options for how the Council can assist with progressing work in the AI area will be considered at the next meeting. Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel also tabled a Horizon Scanning Report on AI commissioned by the Council and developed by a panel of experts under the auspices of the Australian Council of Learned Academies.</p> <p>The Council considered ways in which AI driven technical systems could assist specific sectors. It was agreed that the Council would undertake further work to analyse the opportunities in the manufacturing sector, under the Council’s Research Challenges work stream.</p> <p>Council Member Professor Debra Henly then briefed the Council on her analysis of critical points for intervention to improve students’ engagement with STEM education. Members discussed the wide range of activities underway at a Commonwealth and State level and agreed to further work to identify further actions that could be taken.</p> <p>The Council will meet again in Brisbane in late August.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/NSTC_communiques" hreflang="en">National Science and Technology Council Communiques</a></li> </ul> </div> Fri, 21 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 Anonymous 969 at https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au National Science and Technology Council: First Meeting https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2019/06/national-science-and-technology-council-first-meeting <h1 class="au-header-heading">National Science and Technology Council: First Meeting</h1> <span><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span>Mon, 2019-02-25 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The newly constituted National Science and Technology Council met for the first time in Sydney on 25 February 2019. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, welcomed the Council’s new members, and reaffirmed the essential place of science in supporting the national agenda. They called on the scientific community to engage with the Council to provide Government with the advice needed to improve the lives of Australians and create a stronger economy.</p> <p>The Council discussed the significance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and members agreed that Australia has an opportunity to play a leading role in shaping the ethics and regulation of AI internationally. It was agreed that Professor Genevieve Bell, with support from other Expert Members, would work with CSIRO Data61 on the extensive activities it has been undertaking on AI following the Government’s 2018-19 Budget. The Council agreed to discuss AI further at its next meeting.</p> <p>The importance of STEM skills to Australia’s future was noted by the Council and members discussed concerns about students’ falling interest in these subjects. The Council agreed Professor Debra Henly, with support from other Expert Members, would undertake further work to identify the critical points to intervene to keep students, practitioners and the general public engaged with STEM.</p> <p>The Council noted the outcomes from the Government’s investment in research infrastructure, the opportunities for the future and how these world-class facilities are delivering real world impact.</p> <p>A forward work program was agreed. The Council indicated interest in pursuing AI and next generation agriculture technologies as research challenges and agreed that further advice, including draft proposals, would be sought prior to final decision. Potential topics for new reports in the Horizon Scanning series were discussed, covering data as a national asset, use of technology in aged care and the conservation and environmental management of oceans. Horizon Scanning reports on AI, next generation agriculture technologies and the internet of things are already underway and will be delivered in the next twelve months. The Council noted that while there are a number of science and research system issues that can be examined, research quality would be earmarked for discussion at the next meeting.</p> <p>The Council noted that National Science and Research Priorities were established in 2015 and it was timely to examine the policy rationale for the current Priorities and their role in supporting the science research system. The Council agreed to contribute to the work underway by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to review the policy basis for the Priorities.</p> <p>The Council agreed to a forward schedule of meetings in June, August and November 2019, and Members will be actively engaging with the community to ensure these meetings considered the most pressing issues for science and technology in Australia.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/NSTC_communiques" hreflang="en">National Science and Technology Council Communiques</a></li> </ul> </div> Sun, 24 Feb 2019 23:00:00 +0000 Anonymous 970 at https://www.chiefscientist.gov.au