14 November 2014

Minister for Education 
Leader of the House

UTAS a key winner in $24 million Antarctic Gateway research

The University of Tasmania has been awarded $24 million funding by the Australian Government for the Antarctic Gateway Partnership, further enhancing Hobart’s reputation as a world-centre for Antarctic research.

Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP said this new investment allows innovative research to begin and delivers one of the Coalition’s central election commitments to drive economic growth in Tasmania.

“Antarctic research and related industries are key contributors to the Tasmanian economy, employing more than 800 people and supporting $50 million worth of Antarctic-related goods and services annually.

“Tasmania is the gateway to the Antarctic and this initiative serves a strong dual purpose of supporting the Tasmanian economy while delivering vital research within the Antarctic region and within Antarctic industries,” Mr Pyne said.

“The Antarctic Gateway Partnership further strengthens the University of Tasmania as one of Australia's leading research-intensive universities, which is so important for Tasmania's future.”

The Gateway facilitates scientific collaboration between the University of Tasmania, CSIRO and the Australian Antarctic Division and is funded through the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Special Research Initiatives scheme.

Minister Pyne said the initiative will increase the capacity for collaborative research to be carried out in a variety of research disciplines.

“These projects will cover the physical, chemical, atmospheric, cryospheric and biosciences and provide new infrastructure for remote sensing and mapping capabilities while improving the partnerships that provide observations of land, sea and ice.

“The unique environment, location and relatively undisturbed environment of Antarctica provides opportunities to undertake research that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

“The Australian Government’s reforms to higher education contains more vital research funding for the Future Fellowships and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy that will lead to more research investment in Tasmania, however this vital funding hinges on the passage of legislation,” Mr Pyne said.

Visit the ARC website for more information about the Antarctic Gateway Partnership.

Mr Pyne’s Media: 
0407 691 050 or pynemedia@education.gov.au 

Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au