Prioritising Australia's future

Australia's Science and Research Priorities

What challenges does Australia face over the next 20 years? What advantages do we have compared to the rest of the world? How can we use these advantages to create and exploit new opportunities?

We know that science and research are key to meeting the challenges of the future and capitalising on new opportunities.

The Australian Government invests more than $9 billion each year in science, research and innovation. We have an obligation to make sure this investment is used well, and results in the best possible social, environmental and economic benefits. Many other countries ensure a strong return on public investment in research by prioritising that investment in key fields – in areas where they have established strength, or where there are clear national needs.

The science and research priorities

After extensive consultation with industry and researchers, led by the Chief Scientist, the Australian Government has developed a set of nine Science and Research Priorities:

  • food
  • soil and water
  • transport
  • cybersecurity
  • energy
  • resources
  • advanced manufacturing
  • environmental change
  • health

The priorities represent areas where Australia needs concentrated effort that builds on existing strengths and extends the range of our scientific capabilities. The consultations also resulted in practical challenges for each priority – challenges that will help us build critical mass and scale.

Setting priorities will help the nation build up capabilities and resources in areas vital to our future. The priorities will ensure that our world-class science and research efforts align to the needs of our society, our industry and our people.

The government will also continue to support a range of high-quality basic and applied research across all disciplines.


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