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University’s partnership proves Agenda’s strengths

11 December 2015

Joint media release with The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training and the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Science.

A strategic partnership for manufacturing and R&D between the University of Adelaide and Trajan Scientific and Medical shows how research institutions and manufacturers can work together to power the National Innovation and Science Agenda’s ideas boom.

Scientists from the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Physical Sciences will work with Trajan to commercialise their research into products that ultimately benefit human health and wellbeing.

At the partnership launch at the University, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said the national agenda would create a climate in which similar relationships would thrive.

“Collaborations like this produce links that will enable researchers to work with industry, in this case advanced manufacturers can produce tangible outcomes from their work through products with wide-ranging medical and scientific applications,” Mr Pyne said.

“It’s an exciting alliance that demonstrates what the Agenda will achieve by placing science and innovation at the heart of transforming Australia’s economy with world-leading science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) products and services.”

“This sort of manufacturing, of specialty glass products for the global science and medical equipment market, shows the importance of equipping Australians with appropriate job skills for the workforce of the 21st century.”

Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government would help build the workforce of the future by encouraging more young Australians to study science, technology and maths subjects at school.

"While a good education starts with a solid foundation in literacy and numeracy, STEM subjects are essential to the development of critical and creative thinking, and analysis and problem solving skills,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Developing an early interest in subjects like science, maths and IT will help school students prepare for life and work beyond school. We need to do more and we need to do it differently to encourage more young students to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.

“This will help them develop the skills they will increasingly need by the time they complete their schooling and are looking to take the next step into higher education or the workforce.”

Assistant Minister for Science, Karen Andrews, said the collaboration demonstrated just how critical equipping students with STEM skills and literacy was to the success of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“An estimated 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest growing industries require STEM capabilities, so upskilling our workforce is critical to economic and social wellbeing in an increasingly STEM-based economy,” Mrs Andrews said.

“We can ensure we have a pipeline of STEM engaged people by inspiring children to appreciate the importance and relevance of science from an early age and build science literacy among all Australians.

“This will help to ensure they are able to participate in science-based activities and careers and find solutions to problems needing a level of scientific knowledge and understanding.”

The Ministers said the need to embrace STEM from an early age was why the National Innovation and Science Agenda will invest around $51 million in new funding to help Australian school students embrace the digital age to prepare for the jobs of the future.

The Inspiring all Australians in Digital Literacy and STEM package included $48 million to improve STEM literacy, and $13 million to expand opportunities for women.

Information on the National Innovation and Science Agenda is available from http://www.innovation.gov.au/

Mr Pyne’s Media: 0439 764 809, pynemedia@industry.gov.au
Department media: media@industry.gov.au
Mr Birmingham Media: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Ms Andrews Media: Jan LeMaitre, jan.lemaitre@industry.gov.au