The Academy made the following submission to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training's Research Collaboration Review on 27 August 2003.
The Australian Academy of Science proposes a model for enhanced collaboration in Australia's innovation system via a postdoctoral fellowship scheme, involving universities, Publicly Funded Research Agencies and industry.
The proposed criteria for selection of postdoctoral fellows would be refined in consultation with the relevant Publicly Funded Research Agencies and industry. Selection would be competitive and administration would be independent of government and under the auspices of a committee of the Joint Academies.
The Review of Closer Collaboration between Universities and Major Publicly Funded Research Agencies provides the opportunity to consider innovative mechanisms to develop collaboration and knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in Publicly Funded Research Agencies and industry, and those in the higher education sector.
The Academy has argued in the past that 'the Australian Government must encourage a shared vision for Australian higher education, in which government, universities and the private sector work for the common good of Australia'.  In addition, this vision 'should include recognition of the roles of government research agencies such as CSIRO, ANSTO, AIMS...[to] contribute widely to research training at postgraduate and postdoctoral levels'.
Eligible Publicly Funded Research Agencies would include ANSTO, DSTO, AIMS and CSIRO.The Academy proposes that the Linkage-Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships (CSIRO), presently administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC), be integrated into the new model, with funds and funds administration transferred to the Joint Academies.
The model focuses on a change in the dynamics for science and research through the new production of knowledge.  The model also draws on the idea of network governance  and national innovation systems  , in which operationally autonomous but mutually independent and specialised agents or organisations are drawn together for decision-making in a regulative and cognitive framework. This new model is an alternative to using conventional government decision-making.
This current Review seeks to examine scope for greater collaboration between universities and major Publicly Funded Research Agencies, including the extent to which such collaboration can improve research outcomes, achieve more efficient and effective use of resources and strengthen institutional performance.It also seeks to consider the potential for greater synergies between universities and Publicly Funded Research Agencies, possible models for closer collaboration, scope to promote a greater focus on commercialisation of research through collaboration, and possible alternative funding models to promote excellence across the national research effort.
The Australian Academy of Science, in addition to its general support for the role of government research agencies such as CSIRO, ANSTO and AIMS in contributing widely to research training at the postdoctoral level, has previously expressed support for exciting new initiatives within CSIRO that aim to provide greater focus on partnerships with universities and other research providers.The Academy recognises a need for these initiatives to be seen as a component of the total national effort and as a collaborative and innovative part of Science Australia. 
The Publicly Funded Research Agencies of CSIRO, ANSTO, AIMS and DSTO are recognised by the Government as mission-oriented – focusing on public good and industry research, both strategic basic and applied.These organisations already contribute importantly to postgraduate education in linkages with the university sector.They also contribute importantly within their own organisations to postdoctoral training and development.
What is required is a mechanism to enhance communication and innovation in science and technology between researchers in industry, major Publicly Funded Research Agencies and those in the higher education sector – for the benefit of the overall Australian scientific research effort, the participating institutions and agencies, and the individual scientist.A scheme is needed to provide opportunities for researchers in the natural and applied sciences to work outside the higher education system on a project at any stage from fundamental science to industrial innovation.The aim is to facilitate scientific discussion and knowledge transfer, and to establish long-lasting personal and corporate linkages between the three sectors in Australia.
The Academy recognises that the ARC currently administers a range of schemes that support postdoctoral activities in basic scientific research, industry-linkage research and specific research linkages with CSIRO.In all three schemes, researchers are located within higher education institutions.The funding, guidelines, administration and decision-making for these schemes are vested in the ARC.In addition, selection is made in line with National Research Priorities and academic performance.
While this mode has been successful in the past, and may continue, Gibbons  proposes that an alternative mode is becoming important in changing research practice.In the past, problems have been set and solved in a context governed by the (largely) traditional academic interests of a specific community, but there is now a need to produce knowledge in the context of application, involving a much broader range of perspectives.This shift calls on the participation of business, industry and other research agencies in knowledge production, and hence training of researchers.It also requires a rethinking of the distribution of research funding.
Taking a systematic perspective on innovation  , involving the interaction of a range of organisations, develops long-term relationships, establishes trust, and builds channels of communication.Three different delimitations of innovation systems are identified – extended R&D systems, extended production systems, and extended production and competence-building systems.Such innovation requires the contribution of a range of institutions.
Translating these new approaches – production of knowledge, national innovations systems and network governance – into a new postdoctoral model would require an organisation (or organisations) other than the ARC to oversee selection and management of particular focused postdoctoral research.While such responsibility could be transferred, with funding, directly to the Publicly Funded Research Agencies and/or industry, an alternative would be for a committee of the Joint Academies to assume responsibility, with active input from the agencies and industry.Besides providing checks and balances this also has the advantage of disaggregating decision-making.
The ARC currently allocates and administers funds for Discovery and Linkage fellowships, as well as receiving and reviewing progress and final reports.
It is proposed that new funding to support fellowships in this proposal be made available to the Joint Academies Fellowships Committee for allocation.For ease of administration, it is proposed that the funds would be managed by the Australian Academy of Science, and that fellowship reports would be received by the Academy for review by the Joint Academies Fellowship Committee.The Joint Academies would require support for administering the program.
The following provides a framework for the practical operation of the model.
Joint Academies Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellowships
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