The National Research Infrastructure Council (NRIC) was established in May 2009 by then Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, to provide strategic advice on Australian research infrastructure investment. The Council was a recommendation of Powering Ideas: An Innovation Agenda for the 21st Century.
Highlights of the work of NRIC include:
- release in September 2011 of the Strategic Framework for Research Infrastructure Investment
- oversight of the development of the 2011 Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure
- advising on landmark-scale (>$100 million) research infrastructure by developing of a Process to identify and prioritise Australian Government Landmark Research Infrastructure investments (November 2010).
Having completed its key tasks, the operation of NRIC was concluded in June 2012 following the creation in November 2011 of the Australian Research Committee (ARCom). ARCom’s key role is to develop a National Research Investment Plan, but also to advise on national research infrastructure.
NRIC Terms of Reference
At the time of its inception, NRIC was required to address the following terms of reference:
"The Council has been established to:
- Develop a strategic framework for investment in research infrastructure in Australia.
- Provide advice to the Minister on research infrastructure investment issues including national and landmark priorities, funding needs, improved program linkages and delivery methods.
- Assess funding proposals for specific research infrastructure investments and monitor Australian government investments in research infrastructure.
The Council will assist with strategic planning for research infrastructure across all categories of investment: institutional, project-based, integrated national facilities, strategic facilities and landmark infrastructure. This will include consideration of coordinated investment in systemic and enabling technologies.
Infrastructure investment can involve access by Australian researchers to overseas facilities. The Council will consider and advise on collaborative international projects. The Council is expected to engage actively with stakeholders, including the business sector. Engagement with State and Territory governments and with relevant Commonwealth agencies will also be important to effective coordination of research infrastructure investment."
At its conclusion, NRIC had the following membership:
- Mr John Ryan PSM, Executive Director, Cloon Economics and former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources
- Ex-Officio Members
- Ms Leanne Harvey, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council
- Professor Warwick Anderson AM, Chief Executive Officer, National Health and Medical Research Council
- Professor Ian Chubb AC, Chief Scientist for Australia
- Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive Officer, CSIRO
- Ms Patricia Kelly, Deputy Secretary, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
- Other Members
- Professor Thomas Cochrane, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) at Queensland University of Technology
- Professor Edwina Cornish, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Monash University
- Professor Peter Høj, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Australia
- Professor Suzanne Miller, Director of the South Australian Museum
- Professor Margaret Seares AO, Former Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at The University of Western Australia
- Mr David Stewart, former CEO of Leighton Holdings Limited