The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) has released a discussion paper about the development of a 2011 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure which will identify Australia’s national research infrastructure priority areas.


The 2011 Roadmap, to be overseen by the National Research Infrastructure Council (NRIC), is the third to be developed. The first was released in 2006 as part of the implementation of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). The second, released in 2008,  formed the basis for the Australian Government’s 2009 Super Science Initiative.


The 2011 Roadmap will once again focus on Capability areas, and will not aim to identify specific items of infrastructure, but will identify areas where public investment in research infrastructure will make a significant difference to Australia’s research and innovation outcomes. It will be primarily concerned with medium to large-scale research infrastructure.


Six Expert Working Groups have been established based on National Research Priorities (NRPs), as follows:

  • Environmentally Sustainable Australia
  • Frontier Technologies
  • Safeguarding Australia
  • Promoting and Maintaining Good Health
  • Understanding Cultures and Communities
  • eResearch Infrastructure.

Two additional groups - ‘Understanding Cultures and Communities’ and ‘eResearch Infrastructure’ – have been formed to provide support in those areas.


Following analysis of responses to the discussion paper, an exposure draft Roadmap will be developed and released for further consultation in June 2011. The final 2011 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure will be provided in August to the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to inform any future government consideration of investment in research infrastructure.


At the same time as the 2011  Roadmap is being developed, the NRIC  is finalising a Strategic Framework for Research Infrastructure Investment which will provide a high-level policy framework including principles to guide the development of policy advice and the design of programs related to the funding of research infrastructure by the Australian Government.


NRIC has also developed a ‘Process to identify and prioritise Australian Government landmark research infrastructure investments’ which is currently under consideration by the government as part of broader deliberations relating to research infrastructure.


Responses to the discussion paper are requied by Wednesday 4 May.


More information and access to the discussion paper are available here.