22 June 2012

Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

Australia’s synchrotron to continue conducting world leading research

Australian researchers will continue to undertake vital research—in areas such as health, manufacturing and food security—in Australia thanks to a new program to manage researcher access to the Australian Synchrotron.

The program will be managed by Monash University with the support of the Gillard Government’s investment of $30 million. Australian universities will also invest around $25 million.

Announcing the funding, Science and Research Minister Senator Chris Evans said the unique properties of synchrotron light provide experimental research results that are more accurate and clear than those obtained using traditional laboratory equipment.

“That is why it is vital Australian researchers have access to a synchrotron in their own backyard,” Senator Evans said.

“The Gillard Government is enhancing Australian researcher access to the facility to ensure Australia builds on its world-class reputation and addresses the big questions facing the 21st century.

“Under the Synchrotron Initiative, Monash University will implement a peer-reviewed, merit-based program to ensure Australian and overseas universities and medical research institutions benefit from synchrotron access over the next four years.

“The Australian Government is ensuring Australia’s best minds have access to world class facilities.”

This $30 million Government investment is being provided by the Australian Research Council ($25 million) and National Health and Medical Research Council ($5 million). The NHMRC previously funded the development of a medical beamline on the Synchrotron. This additional funding will help ensure the beamline is fully utilised.

Senator Evans said with the strong need to undertake R&D to transform industries and see them through challenges such as climate change, economic change and skills shortages, there has never been a more vital time to invest in the facility.

“As the Australian Synchrotron can be used to study the most precise nature of any biological and industrial material, it can be used by almost any industry across a wide range of research fields.”
Senator Evans’ Media Contact: 
Rhys Davies 0411 138 572