Councils and committees

Commonwealth Science Council

The Commonwealth Science Council provides strategic advice to government on science and technology issues and building stronger collaboration between scientists, researchers and industry.

The Prime Minister chaired the inaugural meeting in Canberra in November 2014. During this meeting members considered the Chief Scientist's report: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia's Future, including its recommendations for a strategic whole-of-government approach to STEM.

Members strongly supported the need for science and research priorities and discussed draft priorities developed by the Chief Scientist. Members agreed that further consultation on the draft priorities and identification of the challenges underpinning them would inform advice to Government to be considered at the Council’s next meeting.

The Council agreed a forward work programme, with key items for further consideration to include:

  • advice on science and research priorities and the underpinning challenges;
  • policy recommendations and actions on bringing strategic alignment, focus and scale to STEM in Australia;
  • the outcome of consultation processes currently underway on the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and the Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research discussion paper; and
  • actions to promote industry links and commercial returns from research.

The Council will next meet in the first half of 2015.


  • The Prime Minister (Chair)
  • The Minister for Industry and Science (Deputy Chair)
  • The Minister for Education and Training
  • The Minister for Health
  • Australia’s Chief Scientist
  • Professor Timothy Davis
  • Professor Ian Frazer AC
  • Professor Nalini Joshi
  • Professor Tanya Monro
  • Professor Brian Schmidt AC
  • Mr Ken Boal
  • Dr Michael Chaney AO
  • Dr Jackie Fairley
  • Mr David Knox
  • Ms Catherine Livingstone AO.

Commonwealth State and Territory Advisory Council on Innovation (CSTACI)

The CSTACI is a council of high level officials (which meets twice a year) from the Australian Government, the State and Territory governments, and the New Zealand Government who advise and coordinate comment on their innovation policy, activities and programs. With a targeted and strategic approach to innovation issues, the Council aims to improve the effectiveness, integration and coordination of the national innovation system.

CSTACI Terms of Reference

Recognising that innovation is a major contributor to productivity growth and thus to economic and social prosperity at its meeting of 2 February 2000, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Industry Ministers agreed to establish a Commonwealth, State and Territory Advisory Council on Innovation (CSTACI) to enhance innovative activity across Australia. In June, 2006, New Zealand formally joined the Council.

In July 2009, the Commonwealth, State and Territory innovation, industry and science Ministers endorsed the role of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Advisory Council on Innovation to enhance coordination of innovation and science policy across Australia and with New Zealand.

The Advisory Council is a forum to enable high level officials from the Commonwealth, each of the states and territories, and New Zealand to:

  • exchange information on innovation and science policy issues
  • work together to improve the effectiveness of the national innovation system by better integrating and coordinating innovation and science policy so as to:
    • enhance its overall effectiveness
    • avoid counter-productive overlap and duplication
    • provide clearly defined and accessible programs for business and other stakeholders
    • enhance access to global knowledge and its dissemination to business, commerce, research and other stakeholders; and
    • review and advise on co-operation and coordination of innovation and science policy between Advisory Council members and relevant international jurisdictions, and compare our innovation policy and performance against those of other countries.

The Council provides reports, where relevant, on its progress and findings to the Australian innovation, industry and science Ministers and to the Commonwealth Science Council.

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