Outstanding science and research is a critical foundation of an innovative and prosperous modern society. Globally competitive research depends on access to first-class research equipment, systems and services, collectively referred to as research infrastructure.

Australia today is the beneficiary of internationally recognised and highly efficient research infrastructure that consistently delivers outstanding returns. It has been developed through the implementation of a series of strategic roadmaps funded by successive Australian governments, with support from state and territory governments, universities and research agencies.

It is time, now, to build on this foundation of Australian prosperity and reach for excellence in the decade ahead.

There are four layers that make up the Australian research infrastructure system:

  1. institutional research infrastructure
  2. national research infrastructure
  3. landmark research infrastructure
  4. global research infrastructure

For the purpose of the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap (2016 Roadmap), layers two, three and four have been addressed, guided by the following definition:

National research infrastructure comprises the nationally significant assets, facilities and services to support leading-edge research and innovation. It is accessible to publicly and privately funded users across Australia, and internationally.

Institutional infrastructure, while critical, rightly falls within the domain of the individual institutions and has not been considered.

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