An initial round of grants from the rejuvenated Science and Industry Endowment Fund will help to address the nation’s need for more skilled scientists.
The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, announced on Tuesday that the Fund would receive $150 million from the proceeds of CSIRO’s Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology licensing program.
Senator Carr announced three initial grants from the Endowment Fund:
- $2 million to establish a joint a Professorial Chair and associated appointments in Wireless Communications funded by CSIRO and Macquarie University over seven years;
- $7.5 million (over 2 -3 years) to establish scholarships and fellowships across all scientific disciplines including ICT, mathematics and engineering; and
- Up to $10 million for a specific project to expand CSIRO’s research into the next generation of wireless technologies, including those with potential application to Australia’s National Broadband Network.
CSIRO Group Executive, Information Sciences, Dr Alex Zelinsky, said the funds would help the CSIRO – in collaboration with Macquarie University and other partners – to continue world-leading research in wireless technologies.
Dr Zelinsky said this would help address the national skills shortage in key research areas including; computer science, electrical engineering, mathematical sciences and physics.
"These are the skills that contributed to the original WLAN invention and it is rewarding to see that the Endowment Fund has recognised this as an appropriate early investment," Dr Zelinsky said.