The Australian and Victorian governments have confirmed that ownership of the Australian Synchrotron has been officially transferred to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), in the lead up to National Science Week.
The integration follows the $520 million 10-year operational funding package announced late last year under the National Innovation and Science Agenda for ANSTO to operate the facility.
“The Australian Synchrotron is a nationally significant piece of science infrastructure that has supported Australian research, industry and innovation for a decade,” Minister Hunt said.
“ANSTO has established relationships with users and stakeholders and has a shared history with the Synchrotron of supporting accelerator science to produce outcomes for industry.”
“As we move towards National Science Week, Australia’s annual celebration of science’s cultural and economic impact, securing the future of the synchrotron ensures that this country continues to benefit from cutting-edge research.”
“I’d like to thank the shareholders of the Australian Synchrotron company, including the Victorian Government, who have secured the future of the facility through this transfer to ANSTO.”
Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, the Honourable Philip Dalidakis MP, welcomed the announcement, affirming the Victorian Government’s excitement about the future potential of the facility.
“The Synchrotron significantly boosts the research capabilities of Australia's scientific community and remains a vital component of our scientific infrastructure. Now is the right time to pass control to the Commonwealth Government to ensure its sustainability into the future,” Minister Dalidakis said.
ANSTO CEO Dr Adi Paterson noted that “As part of the ANSTO nuclear family, the Synchrotron will have long-term, secure funding for the first time in its history, a previously unprecedented guarantee.”
“This will allow the scientists, researchers and clients of the Synchrotron to undertake long-term research, which in turn will deliver societal and economic benefits across Australia and the region.”
“ANSTO is thrilled to have welcomed the Australian Synchrotron, and to mark the start of a stronger, expanded organisation to support the research community and deliver for Australia well into the future.”
On 14 July 2006, eight people onsite at the Synchrotron confirmed ‘first light’, the champagne moment at which the facility went live, promising much for Australian science.
In the decade since, synchrotron light has been used to advance research and development in a number of fields, including biosciences, medical research and minerals exploration.
With ANSTO as custodian, this powerful source of light – a million times brighter than the sun – will continue to be a shining beacon for science research in Australia.
National Science week runs from 13 – 21 August with festivals, activities and events across Australia. More information can be found at www.scienceweek.net.au