NSW Government reveals 20-year R&D roadmap

Monday, 23 May, 2022

NSW Government reveals 20-year R&D roadmap

The NSW Government has unveiled a long-term strategy for turning the state’s research and development (R&D) capabilities into what it says will be world-leading industries and jobs for future generations.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the NSW 20-Year R&D Roadmap provides a blueprint that will help inform the NSW Government of strategically important investments for our future economic and social wellbeing.

“R&D is a key driver of new jobs, future businesses and international investment in NSW and will play a crucial role in our economic growth,” he said. “The NSW Government invests close to $400 million in R&D each year, and this strategy puts in place a plan to better target funds to fast-track new technology and commercialisation for our people, the economy and our environment.

“The results of the recent Innovation and Productivity Scorecard prove that NSW’s innovation ecosystem is world class, but we want to continue to improve, which is why this roadmap will build on our strengths and help lift our game in other areas.”

NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte said the roadmap stems from a deep analysis of NSW’s competitive advantages based on credible data and wide stakeholder consultation.

“The roadmap is the culmination of an extensive research and consultation process led by the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer over the past six months,” he said. “The roadmap identifies four technology themes — digital, materials and chemistry, biotechnology, and energy — and 39 applications, which will help government and industry focus R&D investment over the next 20 years.”

Sensing and Internet of Things come under the digital theme, which is the largest of the four themes. Software, artificial intelligence, data analytics, quantum computing, blockchain, robotics and semiconductors are included under the digital theme as well.

The NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) has been listed in the roadmap as part of the state’s innovation entities under the NSW’s Competitive Advantages in Digital Technologies section.

NSW universities have strong R&D capabilities in Internet of Things, sensing, robotics, AI and data analytics, with applications in environmental monitoring and management. In terms of the industry, 45% of Australia’s businesses specialising in sensing, AI and data analytics are based in NSW. With appropriate investment and sector collaboration, R&D projects are estimated to benefit the nation in billions while creating thousands of jobs for Australia by 2040 in the fields of computing, sensing and measurement, and communications.

As an Innovation Network, the NSSN is in a strong position to activate collaborative partnerships between universities, industry and government that will result in a more resilient and prosperous NSW.

The roadmap was a recommendation of the NSW Government’s Accelerating R&D in NSW Action Plan, which aims to make NSW an R&D leader in Australia and the world.

Image: NSW Smart Sensing Network.

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