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2 September 2019 Speech

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I would like to begin by acknowledging the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people as the Traditional Owners of the land that we are on today, and pay my respect to their Elders past, present and emerging

Good afternoon everyone.

Thank you all for being here today.

I'm the Chief Executive of Australia's national science agency, the CSIRO, but today I'm here as the Trustee of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund, or SIEF which was created in 1926 through an act of Parliament, to be an independent trust to support Australian research.

About ten years ago, SIEF was reinvigorated with a Gift from CSIRO from proceeds of CSIRO's invention of WiFi. It's important to put the benefits back into the national innovation system for the long term benefit of all.

CSIRO endowed SIEF with this gift because SIEF's mission aligns with CSIRO's - to invest in the science of today to invent our industries of tomorrow. It allows us to plant more seeds like this, to nurture our future, sustain our people, and grow our society.

But really, I'm here today as the young student I was in 1984, wishing I could win such a scholarship.

So, it's a genuine pleasure to be here today to extend SIEFs support for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Fellowships and Heidelberg Fellowships, because they build our future leaders for tomorrow and are strongly aligned with SIEFs commitment to empowering early career researchers to do the science that will change the world.

SIEF has been providing funds to the Academy for the Lindau Fellows since 2012 and from today, we will renew our support of the SIEF-AAS Lindau Nobel Laureate Fellowships and Heidelberg Fellowships with $1M over 10 years, taking us through to 2031.

When we invest in developing talented young scientists at the stage in their career where they are most creative, it is an investment in Australia's future, and plants a seed, stirring them to win Nobel Prizes of their own.

Of the many researchers to benefit from the Fellowships, there have been six from CSIRO, and while we of course support our own researchers to have wonderful experiences, it's great to see these shared across the whole Australian research sector.

This program has benefited the nation enormously, building Australia's reputation internationally. It provides a unique opportunity to interact and exchange with other leading minds around the world across different science disciplines.

Through this program, participants are able to network internationally, have direct access to Nobel Laureates and their wisdom, and receive a unique learning and development opportunity.

One of the recipients from last year was Ryan Farr, is here in the audience today.

He is part of a Probing Biosystems program to advance Australia toward precision health and medicine, revolutionising the healthcare and biosecurity of the nation.

This is the kind of research that will make a huge difference in the lives of Australians, and people around the world, so it's great to see it supported and strengthened through programs like these.

I would like to thank the Australian Academy of Science for facilitating the program; and taking on the unenviable task of assessing the worthy applicants and coordinating our delegation every year.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany for their ongoing support, advice and welcoming our delegation each year. Germany has and continues to be an important, long term research partner for Australia.

When we foster the exchange of wisdom amongst scientists, we inspire new discoveries. When we invest in future leaders, we build a better tomorrow. But when we do both, in deep collaboration, we make the impossible, possible.

Thank you.


More information on the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).

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