The 2018 Budget announced that the Government will provide an additional $1.9 billion over 12 years from 2017-18 ($393.3 million over five years) to implement the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan (the Plan), informed by the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. The Research Infrastructure Investment Plan can be found here.
Key points to note relevant to IMOS:
- $1.5 billion over 10 years (2019-29), indexed, for operational costs of facilities under NCRIS.
- Under this commitment, IMOS operational funding already approved for 2018-19 ($16.46M) will be extended for another four years (to 2022-23) with indexation.
- Subject to ongoing performance and future national priorities, the NCRIS commitment presents an opportunity for IMOS to be sustained into a third decade (2028-29).
- New investment in IMOS of $22M in 2017-18 to 2021-22. This is a mix of much needed capital re-investment and increased operating expenditure (2017-22).
“This is fantastic news, and IMOS is extremely grateful for the tremendous support provided by Australian Government through NCRIS,” says IMOS Director Tim Moltmann.
The IMOS Office will now work with the Department of Education and Training to put the funding agreements in place.
The IMOS Five Year Plan (2017-22) has informed IMOS input to the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan and will underpin IMOS Funding Guidelines (2018-23) developed in consultation with the community.
The National Research Infrastructure Roadmap includes other good news for marine, climate and Antarctic science:
- $31.2M to expand the operations of the RV Investigator by an additional 120 days a year. This is a wonderful outcome, and congratulations go to our colleagues at CSIRO and the Marine National Facility who have worked tirelessly to achieve this.
- Work will also be undertaken with key stakeholders to develop a national coastal vessel capability beyond 2021–22.
- Investment post 2021-22 to open up merit-based access to the Australian Institute of Marine Science hosted SeaSim for researchers.
- $140M to upgrade and purchase new supercomputers for Australia’s two Tier 1 HPC facilities: the National Computational Infrastructure facility and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.
- $72.2M for critical upgrades to virtual laboratories, research cloud storage and data security.
- Scoping studies to explore requirements for a more advanced climate and environmental prediction through an enhanced ACCESS model and establishment of a national environmental prediction system will also be undertaken.