The Super Science Initiative was announced in May 2009 and will contribute $1.1 billion to priority areas of Australian research until 2013. $901 million of this money is for research infrastructure that will make a lasting contribution to Australian science. These infrastructure investments are being funded from the Education Investment Fund (EIF), which is one of the three Nation-building Funds established by the Nation-building Funds Act 2008.
Super Science Funding
The Super Science Initiative will address three of the priorities identified in the 2008 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure [PDF 2.74 MB]: space science and astronomy, marine and climate science, and future industries (biotechnology, nanotechnology and ICT).
Space and Astronomy - $160.5m
- A High Performance Computing Centre for SKA Science in Perth
- Additional funding for the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO), the world's leading 4-metre optical telescope
- Funding for an Australian Space Research Program and a Space Policy Unit that will provide advice to the Government on national space policy
Since the May 2009 Budget announcement, the Australian Government has allocated a further $88m to the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Marine and Climate - $387.7m
- A state-of-the-art marine research vessel to replace the RV Southern Surveyor
- Extension of the Integrated Marine Observing System network
- New tropical marine infrastructure investments at the Australian Institute of Marine Science
- An upgrade to Australia's peak high-performance climate change computing capacity
- Distributed infrastructure for research into terrestrial ecosystems, groundwater depletion, sustainable energy, and water and energy use in built environments
Future Industries - $504.0m
- New facilities for cutting-edge biological discovery and biotechnology development including funding for a European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Australia Partner Laboratory
- New National Enabling Technologies Strategy
- Nuclear science facilities for ANSTO
- Facilities to support nanotechnology research
- Advanced ICT platforms
100 Super Science Fellowships - $27.2m
- These fellowships will be offered across targeted disciplines. The three-year post-doctoral fellowships will allow our most promising young researchers to work in areas of national significance, with 50 fellowships to commence in 2010 and 50 in 2011.
Support for Questacon - $11.3m
- This funding will strengthen and improve Questacon's science and education facilities, including a boost for the highly successful outreach and communications program. Additional funds will enable this popular national institution to continue taking the wonder of science to children and adults in remote and regional areas.
All the infrastructure projects are highly collaborative, with facilities to be developed at many of the nation's universities, the CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science, ANSTO, and other public research agencies. This investment will stimulate economic activity, supporting new jobs and building the platform for high-skill, high-wage jobs in the future. As projects are being funded under the EIF, funding can only be applied to the ‘creation and development’ of infrastructure. In particular, EIF funds may not be used for recurrent costs, such as maintenance of infrastructure or operating costs.