Australia is set to boost its bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), with the Federal Government committing to investing $40.2 million in the project over the next four years. CSIRO has also lucked in, with a massive $3 billion in funding announced for the next four years.
The SKA is a radio telescope made up of thousands of antennas that will be spread out across Australia and New Zealand. The antennas will be connected to a fibre network, and the data will be processed by a supercomputer.
The competition to host the SKA is tight; South Africa is going up against the Australian and New Zealand joint entry to host the site, which is expected to be announced in 2012.
The funding allocated in the budget by Treasurer Wayne Swan this evening will go to support the design and development work, with work on the pre-construction engineering phase expected to begin at the end of 2011.
Construction on the project is expected to start in 2016.
Innovation Minister Kim Carr has said that the government will also invest a massive $3 billion in CSIRO so that it can continue its research projects over the next four years.
"Finding room for this funding in a responsible budget has been difficult, but it demonstrates the value the government places on this important institution," Carr said in a statement.
Of this funding, $20 million will go to the Tasmanian ICT Research Centre, announced by the government late last month.
See ZDNet Australia's complete coverage of the budget.