The National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) sets a focus on science, research and innovation as long-term drivers of economic prosperity, jobs and growth. The Minister announced the NISA on 7 December 2015, committing $1.1 billion over four years to 24 measures. The NISA complements a broader government investment in science, research and innovation. The Agenda focuses on four key pillars:

  • Taking the leap: backing Australian entrepreneurs by opening up new sources of finance, embracing risk, taking on innovative ideas, and making more of our public research.

  • Working together: increasing collaboration between industry and researchers to find solutions to real world problems and to create jobs and growth.

  • Best and brightest: developing and attracting world-class talent for the jobs of the future.

  • Leading by example: the Australian Government will lead by example; embracing innovation and agility in the way we do business.

Australia Research Landscape Facts 


  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation- CSIRO: The CSIRO is the most important agency for Australian federal research and plays an active role in the implementation of the NISA Agenda via its 2020 strategy. CSIRO Website. CSIRO Strategy

  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation –ANSTO: ANSTO is the national nuclear organization which is at the heart of the Australian nuclear expertise. ANSTO website

  • Geoscience Australia: Geoscience Australia is the organization which advises the government on all geoscience questions, but is also the custodian of the nation’s geographical and geological data and knowledge. Geoscience Website. Geoscience Australia’s Data Cube offers a new approach to organize and analyze the large quantity of satellite images and earth observation data. Data Cube Website

  • Universities: There are 43 universities in Australia and some are grouped in cluster organizations that seek to advance their members’ interests.

  • The Group of Eight – Go8: The Go8 is the key organization defending the interests of 8 Australian research-intensive universities: the University of Melbourne, The Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, the University of Adelaide, Monash University, and the University of New South Wales. Go8 Website

  • The Australian Technology Network –ATN: The Australian Technology Network gathers five universities with a strong emphasis in engineering: the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University, the University of South Australia, and Curtin University. ATN Website

  • Universities Australia: Universities Australia is the organization representing all Australian universities and supports a sustainable national university system which can be defined by its quality, accessibility, innovation and its high level of performance, positioning Australia as a world leader and respected international partner. Universities Australia Website


  • The Australian Research Council – ARC: Competitive research funding covering the entire scientific spectrum except for medical research. ARC Website

  • The National Health and Medical Research Council – NHMRC: Competitive funding for medical research. NHMRC Website

  • The Industry Growth Centres: The Industry Growth Centres Initiative (the Initiative) is an initiative guided by industry and focused on domains where Australia has a high degree of competitiveness, or a strong strategic priority. Industry Growth Centres Website

  • The Cooperative Research Centres: The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program is a competitive, merit-based program, which aims to support partnerships of collaborative research led by industry, as well as gathering partners, researchers and the community. CRC Website

  • The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations – RIRDC: The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations statute was established in 1990 by the Australian government allowing them to work with the Australian rural industries in the organization and the funding of their needs in research and development, in particular for the new emerging industries and on rural problems of a national scale. RIRDC Website.

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