Chief Scientist’s STEM innovation focus gets ACS nod

Chief Scientist’s STEM innovation focus gets ACS nod

Australian Computer Society supports creation of Innovation Board and better STEM education

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is throwing its support behind the STEM: Australia’s Future report, welcoming the Office of the Chief Scientist’s focus on innovation.

In the report, Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, recommended to the Australian Government the creation of an Australian Innovation Board to “draw together existing Australian programmes and target research and innovation effort.”

The intended Board would operate to: identify innovation priorities; solicit and fund research; ensure support for public sector research; deliver new models for collaboration; support local companies with new services; bring shared focus to existing, disparate programmes.

The ACS said the recommendation to establish Innovation Board is aligned with its submission to the recent inquiry into Australia’s innovation future.

Within its submission, the ACS recommended the establishment of the Office of the Chief Innovator in a similar structure to that of the Chief Scientist’s.

The ACS is also backing the report’s re-affirmation of concerns around declining numbers of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as the lack of qualified teachers for STEM subjects in the secondary school system.

The ACS said in a statement that it has long advocated for an increased focus on STEM education, specifically in the digital space, and revealed its intent to work with the Office of the Chief Scientist and other relevant stakeholders to better equip Australia’s next generation of highly-skilled digital innovators.

Indeed the Chief Scientist’s report marks the necessity for formal and informal education to prepare a skilled and dynamic workforce, but outlines it will require: a secure pipeline which recognises the benefits of STEM; inspirational teaching and learning at all levels and for all students, alongside flexible methods; a high level of STEM literacy across the workforce, with a reliable pipeline of specialist STEM skills and practitioners.

The Chief Scientist’s full report can be found the Office’s web site.

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