When we think about infrastructure it’s most often about bridges or roads – or, as in this week’s federal government $1.9 billion National Research Infrastructure announcement, big science projects. These are large assets that can be seen and applied in a tangible way.
It’s not hard to get excited over money that will support imaging of the Earth, or the Atlas of Living Australia.
But important as these projects are, there’s a whole set of infrastructure that rarely gets mentioned or noticed: “soft” infrastructure. These are the services, policies or practices that keep academic research working and, now, open.
Soft infrastructure was not featured in this week’s announcement linked to budget 2018.