Supporting Ukrainian scientists through a partnership with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation
Ukrainian scientists who have fled the war with Russia or who have been unable to work due to the destruction of their workplace are set to receive a helping hand from their Australian counterparts.
The assistance will come in the form of an A$800,000 donation from the non-profit Breakthrough Prize Foundation to the Australian Academy of Science, announced today.
The donation will support initiatives including:
- the establishment of long-term research collaborations between Ukrainian and Australian scientists, focusing on early-and-mid-career researchers (this may consist of short-term visits to Australian research facilities to establish links that last beyond the war);
- providing Ukrainian scientists with access to leading Australian science and research infrastructure and facilities such as supercomputing programs, synchrotrons, and telescopes, NCRIS facilities;
- the opportunity to send data and samples to Australian research facilities for analysis, with the results returned to Ukrainian research institutes.
All efforts to assist Ukrainian scientists will adhere to the ten-point action plan developed to ensure measures focused on rebuilding a modern and globally integrated science and research system in the Ukraine.
President of the Australian Academy of Science Professor Chennupati Jagadish said the Academy stands by the people of Ukraine and their scientific workforce at home and in exile.
“A considerable number of Ukrainian research facilities and universities have been destroyed by the war. We see this initiative as one of the most effective ways Australia can support the Ukrainian scientific community,” Professor Jagadish said.
“This new initiative will be a mutually beneficial partnership and a two-way knowledge exchange between Australian and Ukrainian scientists.
“We thank the Breakthrough Prize Foundation for their generous donation and their ongoing support for Ukrainian scientists.”
The initiative is part of a global movement to support Ukrainian scientists and will complement work already underway by other countries such as the United States, Poland, and Denmark, who have received primarily Ukrainian women scientists who have fled their country.
The Academy is also part of a coordinating committee of other national academies including the National Academy of Science (US), the Polish Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
“It is inspiring to see the scientific community come together across continents in support of Ukrainian scientists and their critical research,” said Yuri Milner, founder of Breakthrough Prize Foundation. “I applaud the Australian Academy of Science for their contribution to this global effort.”
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The Australian Academy of Science is a Fellowship of 590 of Australia’s leading scientists. The Academy provides independent scientific advice, promotes international scientific engagement, builds public awareness and understanding of science, and champions, celebrates and supports excellence in Australian science.
The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing the world’s great scientists, advancing cutting-edge scientific research, and helping to create a knowledge culture in which everybody, especially the next generation, can be inspired by the big questions of science. The Breakthrough Prize, renowned as the “Oscars of Science,” recognizes the world’s top scientists in the fields of life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. Each prize is $3 million. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual global video competition for students to inspire creative thinking about science.