1st May, 2012 - The Victorian Coalition Government has allocated more than $35 million towards innovation as part of the 2012-13 Victorian Budget, Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher announced today.
The 2012-13 Victorian Budget provides funding to double the number of prestigious Victoria Prize and Victoria Fellowship awards on offer and a range of other innovation scholarship and business-boosting initiatives.
“The 2012-13 Budget is about driving economic activity, productivity and jobs, and delivers on the Coalition Government's commitment to promote and support innovation in Victoria,” Ms Asher said.
The Coalition Government is taking a responsible and necessary approach to improving business competitiveness and productivity through innovation.
“A $5 million voucher program will promote the uptake of new skills and support businesses to exploit Victoria’s world-class science and research capabilities,” Ms Asher said.
“The 2012-13 Budget also provides $150,000 to assist innovative firms to showcase new products and processes in metropolitan and regional Victoria.
“This Budget sets out a clear plan to meet our challenges and position Victoria to take full advantage of future opportunities.
Highlighting the Coalition Government’s commitment to science and research in the state, $474,000 has been committed to the Victoria Prize and the Victoria Fellowships to double the number of the prestigious awards and promote excellence in the science and research community.
“The Victoria Prize honours the lifelong commitment and achievements of Victoria’s finest researchers in science, technology and engineering, and the Victoria Fellowships are awarded to early-career professionals so they can undertake international study,” Ms Asher said.
“Increasing the number of these awards demonstrates the Coalition Government’s commitment to furthering Victoria’s status as the science and research capital of Australia.
“I am also pleased to announce that the number of Innovation Fellowships offered annually by the Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation (VESKI) will be increased with a new $1.5 million commitment.
“An additional allocation of $500,000 will enable VESKI to work in partnership with Victorian schools, teachers and students to increase participation in the sciences and to improve the knowledge and expertise of science teachers.”
In another research scholarship initiative, Ms Asher said the Coalition Government had pledged $1.8 million for the Victorian Research Scholarships to encourage Victorian researchers to take up science research posts overseas.
“We are also providing $26 million towards a joint agreement with the Commonwealth Government to secure the operation of the Australian Synchrotron over the next four years,” Ms Asher said.
“The Australian Synchrotron is an important part of Victoria’s innovation infrastructure and this funding will ensure Victorian researchers and industry partners continue to have access to leading-edge scientific infrastructure to carry out research.”
Coalition invests $60 million in cancer research
The Victorian Coalition Government has committed $59.6 million over the next four years through the Victorian Cancer Agency to fund research into cancer, Health Minister David Davis announced today.
Mr Davis said the initiative would continue to support cancer research leading to improved cancer treatment in Victoria.
The Victorian Cancer Agency provides a major co-ordinating role in cancer research in Victoria and this funding will ensure Victoria continues to progress vital work,” Mr Davis said.
“Our initiative supports the activities of several cancer research and treatment facilities, including the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the Olivia Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre, Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium and the regional cancer centres.
“The funding will help to ensure these centres work together and maintain a state-wide focus.”
Mr Davis said the Victorian Cancer Agency would support the development of the integrated cancer network that would be in place across the state by 2016.
He said the funding in this year’s Budget would:
• improve cancer patient outcomes and experience by funding the translation of new research findings into clinical practice;
• build and develop a highly-skilled cancer research workforce, and attract and retain renowned clinicians and researchers;
• develop an integrated cancer research platform that builds on and links existing research infrastructure;
• improve research collaboration and integration across the Victorian cancer system;
• support the development of a strong research culture in health services, and focus scientific and clinical research on improvements in clinical practice; and
• build closer partnerships with industry and the private and charitable sectors to maximise benefits from investment.
“The commitment made by the Coalition Government will help to ensure Victoria continues to lead the fight against cancer,” Mr Davis said.
“Despite the tough current economic climate, the funding delivered in this year’s Budget reflects how committed the Coalition Government is to working towards a cure for cancer,” Mr Davis said.