In June 2012 the Australian Government announced Securing Australia’s Future, a $10 million investment in a series of strategic research programs delivered to the Australian Chief Scientist and the Commonwealth Science Council (previous to October 2014, the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, PMSEIC).
Coordinated by ACOLA, Australia’s four Learned Academies worked together to deliver research-based evidence to support policy development in areas of importance to Australia’s future.
Securing Australia’s Future was a response to global and national changes and the opportunities and challenges of an economy in transition. Productivity and economic growth will result from: an increased understanding in how to best stimulate and support creativity, innovation and adaptability; an education system that values the pursuit of knowledge across all domains, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and an increased willingness to support change through effective risk management.
Six initial research topics were identified:
- SAF01: Australia’s comparative advantage
- SAF02: STEM: Country comparisons
- SAF03: Smart engagement with Asia: Leveraging language, research and culture
- SAF04: The role of science, research and technology in lifting Australian productivity
- SAF05: New technologies and their role in our security, cultural, democratic, social and economic systems
- SAF06: Engineering energy: unconventional gas production
In July 2014 two new research topics commenced:
In March 2015 one new research topics commenced:
In May 2015 two new research topics commenced:
- SAF10: Capabilities for Australian enterprise innovation
- SAF11: Australia’s Diaspora Advantage: Realising the potential for building transnational business networks with Asia
Also in May 2015, the Minister for Education and Training commissioned ACOLA to undertake a review of Australia’s research training system. Utilising SAF funds, ACOLA Council reviewed this process outside the PSC review process.
As a conclusion to the overall Securing Australia’s Future program, ACOLA conducted a review to collate findings from each of the twelve SAF projects and combine these into a summary report. The report can be found here:
Program Steering Committee
Securing Australia’s Future was governed for ACOLA by a Program Steering Committee (PSC). The PSC was responsible for the overall quality of the program including the peer review process.
The PSC met for the final time on 17 June 2016, at this meeting they finalised The SAF Program, A self-evaluation by the Project Steering Committee: a report to the ACOLA Council which was accepted by Council on 30 June 2016.
Fellows of the four Learned Academies comprised the PSC:
Professor Michael Barber FAA FTSE (Chair)
Mr Dennis Trewin AO FASSA (Deputy Chair – Research)
Professor James Angus AO FAA
Dr John Burgess FTSE
Professor Bruce Chapman AO FASSA
Professor Ruth Fincher AM FASSA
Professor Paul Greenfield AO FTSE
Professor Lesley Head FAHA
Professor Peter McPhee AM FAHA FASSA
Professor Stephen Powles FAA FTSE
Dr Susan Pond AM FTSE
Professor Graeme Turner FAHA
Links and Publications
First Program Report November 2012: Program Report #1
Second Program Report April 2013: Program Report #2
SAF Progress Reports February 2016: Progress Report
ACOLA General Manager presenting on SAF at the 1st Pan-American Interdisciplinary Conference, Buenos Aires, March 2015