Australian Researchers’ Mobility Portal

National Research Priorities

  • An Environmentally Sustainable Australia

    1. Water — a critical resource
    2. Transforming existing industries
    3. Overcoming soil loss, salinity and acidity
    4. Reducing and capturing emissions in transport and energy generation
    5. Sustainable use of Australia’s biodiversity
    6. Developing deep earth resources
    7. Responding to climate change and variability
  • Promoting and Maintaining Good Health

    1. A healthy start to life
    2. Ageing well, ageing productively
    3. Preventive healthcare
    4. Strengthening Australia’s social and economic fabric
  • Frontier Technologies for Building and Transforming Australian Industries

    1. Breakthrough science
    2. Frontier technologies
    3. Advanced materials
    4. Smart information use
    5. Promoting an innovation culture and economy
  • Safeguarding Australia

    1. Critical infrastructure
    2. Understanding our region and the world
    3. Protecting Australia from invasive diseases and pests
    4. Protecting Australia from terrorism and crime
    5. Transformational defence technologies

For further information see www.innovation.gov.au/AboutUs/KeyPublications/PortfolioFactSheets/Documents/NATIONAL-RESEARCH-PRIORITIES.pdf.

Science and technology research strengths

In December 2006, an independent Working Group for the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) presented to PMSEIC their report Australia’s Science and Technology Priorities for Global Engagement. The Working Group was established to provide advice on how Australia can ensure best value from its global engagement and identified a number of scientific research strengths. These were (in alphabetical order):

  • Astronomy, including both optical and radio astronomy, and astrophysics
  • Ecological sciences, including semi-arid ecosystems, coastal ecosystems and coral reefs, marine ecosystems, conservation biology, and monitoring and modelling of atmospheric pollutants
  • Energy resources and technology, including carbon capture and storage through geo-sequestration, and renewable sources
  • Geosciences, including basic science and mineral exploration, remote sensing, mining, and mineral processing
  • Material science, including nanomaterials, quantum-based nanotechnology, photonics and light metals
  • Medical science, including molecular biology and genetics, immunology and clinical medicine
  • Meteorology and oceanography, including climate change and variability in the southern hemisphere, southern ocean dynamics, marine ecology and Antarctic science
  • Plant and animal sciences, including agricultural science and plant genomics
  • Water resources and water management technologies, incand waste water management technologies

In addition to these fields, a number of areas of emerging strengths were also identified:

  • Advanced manufacturing, including semiconductors, laser technology, photonics and scientific instruments
  • Aquaculture
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology, including applied plant breeding, medical devices and diagnostics
  • Complex system science, including from Earth System science to understanding and managing socio-ecological systems
  • Defence research
  • Health science, including vaccine research, stem cell research, virology (avian flu, SARS) and pharmacology (translation of outcomes from laboratory to clinical practice)
  • Information and communications technology, including wireless technologies, sensor networks, and data management and integration
  • Quantum information and computing
  • Science and technology for sustainable development
  • Sustainable energy technologies, including photovoltaics and clean fuel technologies

It should be noted that Australia also has strengths in areas of the humanities and social sciencies, but these were not considered in this report.