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Science, Engineering and Innovation Council holds first meeting

01 May, 2008

The Prime Minister has affirmed the Government's commitment to science and innovation by chairing the first meeting of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) of the Rudd Government.

The Prime Minster said:

"Today I heard from the Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr and Dr Terry Cutler about the progress of the National Innovation System review and the core role this will play in formulating the Government's productivity and social agenda."

"Innovation, science and research are central to advancing our agenda for a globally competitive Australia – they are not a marginal interest but a key force in driving our economy.

"I presented council members with a number of challenges and asked for their best advice on:

  • Getting young Australians excited by science and maths;
  • Creating new careers for aspiring mathematicians and scientists, in the academy and industry;
  • Building a new science and innovation system that can deal with the rise of giants in our region like India and China; and
  • Commercial application of Australians discoveries.

"PMSEIC is a critical part of the Government's agenda to bring together the best and brightest from across Australian society, to formulate evidence-based solutions to key problems and drive economic and social change."

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research said:

"PMSEIC is the Government's principal source of independent advice on science, engineering and innovation. It brings together Australia’s top scientific and business minds."

"Two working groups consisting of leading experts reported to Council on key scientific challenges that the Government is meeting head on:

  • Improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders mothers, their unborn babies and infants – closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
  • Ensuring that science and technology led innovation in services underpins Australian Industries.

"Two young scientists made a valuable contribution with an account of their research in both areas.

"Reports from these PMSEIC expert working groups are making a valuable contribution to scientific knowledge in areas of vital importance to Australia’s future.

"The National Innovation System review reports in July, and will be a major item for discussion at the next PMSEIC meeting."

Further information on the Council and the expert working group reports can be found at: http://www.innovation.gov.au/pmseic

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