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Science needs more support: Bandt

The government needs to set a national goal for research and development spending of at least 3% of GDP, Greens MP Adam Bandt told a meeting of the biotechnology industry today.

Addressing the breakfast meeting of the BioMelbourne Network at Melbourne's Federation Square , Mr Bandt said while there had been increased business investment in R&D, government funding was lagging behind.

"I believe that science, technology and innovation are crucial to Australia's current and future prosperity," Mr Bandt said.

"I intend to be a fierce advocate for the importance of scientific research and the need for it to be adequately funded and supported."

"While there has been an upward trend in overall expenditure on R&D, this has largely been a result of an increase in expenditure by the resources and energy sector."

"The proportion of government's contribution to the country's research effort has fallen dramatically from 22.6% of total expenditure in 2000-01 to 12.3% in 2008-09."

"While our expenditure on R&D as a proportion of GDP has increased, we are still below the OECD average and a long way from where we should be, which is up around 3% like Japan and Germany."

"I believe the government needs to make a commitment to increased R&D funding and set a national goal of at least 3% of GDP."

"That will require an increase in public funding but also a greater contribution from the private sector as well."

Adam Bandt is the Greens spokesperson on Science and Research and Innovation and Industry.


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