Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

View from the Top

By Aidan Byrne

The new head of the ARC looks ahead at changes to funding programs and an open access regime.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Since I started at the Australian Research Council (ARC) in July 2012, I have been fortunate to be given an integrated view of the research sector, and have spoken with a very large number of those that actively take part in it, each with their own view of where things are going and how the sector could be improved. It is exciting to witness such a volume of good ideas and enthusiasm for a future that we are building together.

Although the ARC administers only about 9% of the total government spend on research and development, the effect in the sector is significant. As always each year presents new challenges. This year will see the last of the scheduled rounds of the Future Fellowships program, which completes its 5-year term in 2013. This year will also see a new Centres of Excellence round, which is a major investment for us, and will launch a new fleet of intensive research centres that will be active for years to come.

ARC Centres of Excellence are at the cutting edge of their fields internationally and have brought significant benefits for research capability and innovation in Australia. Their many achievements have included major breakthroughs in quantum computing; the development of new methods of hydrogen production to make industries more environmentally sustainable; and advances in knowledge and protection of biodiversity.

With so many...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Before assuming his current role, Professor Byrne was Dean of Science at the Australian National University and Director of the ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.