Education and research are some of the biggest contributors to the ACT economy and the ACT Government has recognised this in its 2018-19 Budget with its investment priorities promoting Canberra's position in delivering innovative solutions to national challenges.
The Australian National University (ANU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said Canberra's universities had an important role to play in delivering the ACT's strong economic position.
"The tertiary education and research outputs of ANU and University of Canberra have delivered more than $3 billion to the ACT economy, attracting large investments and the brightest students locally and around the country," Professor Schmidt said.
"We are pleased to see the Government recognise this with significant investment in innovation programs and health teaching infrastructure."
The Budget delivers $3.2 million for the Priority Investment Program in 2018-19, focusing on research and development in areas such as cyber security, ICT, defence technology, renewables, space, spatial and satellite technologies.
"ANU welcomes the ACT Government's investment in these key areas. We are well-placed to help deliver the development and expansion of these industries," Professor Schmidt said.
"We also look forward to partnering the ACT Government in the $1.9 million Innovation Festival, which will help position Canberra as an innovation hub."
The Budget also includes funding towards the development of the Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency Centre at University of Canberra's new hospital.
"ANU is highly supportive of this investment to deliver world-class medical facilities, providing training opportunities for future medical professionals. This will complement the strong relationship ANU has with the ACT Government in delivering high-quality health research and education," Professor Schmidt said.
There is significant investment in Canberra's community culture and places. The Urban Renewal program to upgrade the city's facilities will complement the $260 million Kambri development, teaching, student accommodation, retail and leisure facilities the ANU campus in the heart of the city.
"We congratulate the ACT Government on its LGBTIQ strategic plan to make Canberra the most LGBTIQ friendly city. We stand ready to help implement that plan for our students, staff and broader university community," Professor Schmidt said.