Workplace of the Chief Scientist, Creator offered
It’s early days in my tenure as Australia’s Chief Scientist however I’ve already been struck by how central science is to the nationwide coverage agenda. I knew this as an observer, however since I took up the submit it has change into clear what number of initiatives wish to science to paved the way.
As we start to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia is seeking to enhance its manufacturing capability in areas comparable to medical manufacturing and low-emissions applied sciences together with clear hydrogen.
That is excellent news for Australia’s science and analysis group. It is a gigantic alternative. It’s also a substantial problem and duty.
After the pandemic
One of many first occasions with which I used to be concerned as Chief Scientist was a US-Australia Dialogue on Medical Innovation in Response to COVID-19. This was a chance to share experiences throughout america and Australia, and the dialog touched on among the matters that shall be a spotlight of my time period.
Contributing to Australia’s pandemic response is excessive on my agenda. This contains not solely short-term actions such because the vaccine rollout, but in addition studying the teachings of the previous 12 months.
Australia’s pursuits shall be properly served by a higher functionality in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing. I used to be to listen to the insights from two important corporations on this sphere, ResMed and CSL. Each have performed necessary roles within the pandemic each domestically and globally: ResMed within the manufacture of ventilators, and CSL within the growth of therapies and vaccines.
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The federal authorities is targeted on constructing Australian functionality in medical manufacturing, and I strongly help this work.
The pandemic accelerated world vaccine growth, particularly within the new area of mRNA vaccines. The know-how has potential for different vaccines, together with for influenza, and for brand spanking new therapies for illnesses comparable to diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The Medical Merchandise Nationwide Manufacturing Precedence street map has recognized this space as a development alternative.
The federal government’s concentrate on manufacturing additionally contains new low-emissions applied sciences, comparable to clear hydrogen, and Australian functionality in quite a lot of different sectors. These embrace assets know-how and important minerals processing, meals safety, recycling and clear power, defence and area. I’m additionally deputy chair of Business Innovation and Science Australia, a board advising the federal government on this effort.
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The federal government can also be strongly centered on encouraging extra commercialisation of analysis and making certain Australia will get the advantage of the analysis and innovation that it incubates.
A lot of my time in latest weeks has been spent consulting throughout authorities, trade and the science and analysis communities as I mattress down a concrete work agenda. It’s already clear that analysis translation — the power to get essentially the most worth from the wonderful analysis being accomplished in our universities and different establishments — shall be a key focus. I’ll have extra to say on that after I communicate on the Nationwide Press Membership subsequent week.
From analysis to commercialisation
I labored on the CSIRO for a few years as a researcher in superconducting supplies, and was later the organisation’s Chief Scientist. My expertise spans the continuum from pure analysis to commercialisation.
For me, science is the place the work begins, however not the entire reply. Science is artistic, arduous, thrilling, generally demoralising and immensely fulfilling and enjoyable.
Science can present the nation with choices for the trail ahead. However we additionally want engineering, a great enterprise mannequin, person interface and design. To not point out the social licence to just accept, help and pay for the answer.
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My job is to make sure the federal government has entry to the most effective proof accessible because it tackles the challenges we face and drives new alternatives for Australian innovation and trade.
I stay up for working with science and analysis group, trade and enterprise group, authorities and establishments to make that occur.
Cathy Foley is Australia’s Chief Scientist. She addresses the Nationwide Press Membership on Wednesday March 17.
Cathy Foley doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or group that will profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their tutorial appointment.