Thank you for your letter of 24 April 2008 concerning the inquiry into research training and research workforce issues in Australian universities being conducted by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Innovation. Our Government recognises the importance of building our State's research capacity, in terms of facilities and workforce. Under the Smart State Strategy: Investing in Science: Research, Education and Innovation and Smart State Strategy 2005-2015: laying the foundation, the Queensland Government has made a significant investment in establishing 36 new research institutes and more than 230 research scholarships and fellowships. This investment into research infrastructure was based on the principle that by establishing world class research facilities, Queensland would attract and retain world class researchers. A successful example of this principle is demonstrated by the Queensland Brain Institute, which opened in November 2007 at the University of Queensland. Since its establishment, the Institute has attracted Professor Bartlett, a world renowned neuroscientist from Victoria, who now heads a team of researchers in Neural Plasticity Research. The establishment of the Queensland Brain Institute has also attracted a significant number of researchers from interstate and overseas. Following this investment in establishment of a number of research institutes, the newly released Smart State Strategy 2008-2012: a new direction is now focusing on investing in people. As a result, the Queensland Government has doubled its previous investment in the Innovation Skills Fund to place greater emphasis on collaboration and the application of research in industry, government and the community to improve economic, social and environmental outcomes
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