Articles on Research and development

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Climate change and the current El Niño have left Africans more vulnerable than ever to hunger. Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Investing in science can help put food on Africa’s plates

Economic growth alone won't end hunger. Good policies and programmes are needed, too. Scientists and researchers have a role to play in these initiatives.
Investment in science and innovation is needed to help build Africa. Kate Holt/Africa Practice/Flickr

How Africa can close its continent-wide science funding gap

Successful economies are led by innovation and driven by knowledge. For Africa to advance, it needs to make more substantial investments in its research and development sector.
Innovation Australia Chairman Bill Ferris. Paul Millar/AAP Image

Politics podcast: Bill Ferris on innovation

Bill Ferris talks about the need for Australia to bring its ideas and inventions to market, and the way to tackle a business culture that fears failure.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull understands innovation, but the government still lacks a coherent innovation plan. Mick Tsikas/AAP

The government’s focus on innovation is too narrow

A coherent innovation policy requires a focus on fostering networks, and learning from economies similar to ours.
The university experience means more than a piece of paper and a photo in a cap and gown. RMIT University

How do we value universities?

We value the boosted career and wealth outcomes for graduates and what that does for our economy, but university has more value than that.
Countries should make pledges to fund low-carbon research - such as developing solar technology - and development as part of global climate talks. University of Salford Press Office/Flickr

What’s missing from our climate pledges? Low-carbon R&D

Countries will take emissions reduction pledges to international climate talks in Paris at the end of this year. Those pledges should also include funds for low-carbon R&D.
Investing in more roads might help boost economic growth, but getting knowledge infrastructure right could take it to a new level. Image sourced from Shutterstock

Australia’s road obsession is holding back productivity

Commentators continue to call for new infrastructure to lift Australia’s flagging economic growth, yet there is a significant lack of awareness over what constitutes infrastructure. Infrastructure is not…
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane (right) wants universities to be more supportive of industry, but without significant funding into research and development, that’s a big ask. AAP

Fund R&D, then maybe universities can support industry

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane let his discretion slip this week in a speech to the Queensland Media Club when foreshadowing an upcoming report on research funding and competition. Distancing himself…
CSIRO is contending with a A$111 million hit to its budget over four years. Bidgee/Wikimedia Commons

CSIRO risks backing the wrong horse as it reacts to budget cuts

What happens to CSIRO when the federal government decides to strip away A$111 million over four years from its A$733 million annual contribution to the organisation’s budget? We are beginning to find out…
The chair of the Commission of Audit, Tony Shepherd, on the release of the report today. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

What about science in the Commission of Audit report?

The message from the federal government’s Commission of Audit is loud and clear: science, research and education are expenses to be trimmed rather than investments to be nurtured. Yes, there are few big…
Most innovations form in a network, with a mixture of local and global ingredients. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Four ways to boost Australian innovation

From the days of the gold rushes, to the banking and mining booms of the last 15 years, Australians have long worried that most of the world’s innovation was happening somewhere else. Did our good fortune…
No brainer. Funding for the Human Brain Project is secure until 2016. Ars Electronica

What Swiss migrant referendum means for future of EU research

In a referendum on 9 February, the Swiss population voted against mass immigration. That outcome will have far-reaching consequences on the position of Switzerland in European research cooperation. As…
Spreading its net wide: Chinese research centre in Antarctica. petehottelet

China’s research is taking a leap, UK can take advantage

Two weeks after he was confirmed as the head of the Politburo Standing Committee last year, Xi Jinping led his new committee colleagues on a tightly-choreographed day trip to the National Museum in Tiananmen…

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