Australia's investment in Science

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The Australian Government’s investment in science, research and innovation

In 2016-17 the Australian Government is investing $10.1 billion dollars in research and experimental development (R&D) as part of its broader investment in Australian science, research and innovation.

This investment is distributed among four key areas: connecting research and business, enhancing knowledge, increasing scientific outcomes and advancing capabilities.

Connecting Research and Business

Approximately 33 per cent of Australian Government support for R&D is invested in facilitating research and development within businesses.

Enhancing Knowledge

Approximately 34 per cent of Australian Government support for R&D is invested in enhancing knowledge through researchers at universities, educating higher degree by research students and providing world class facilities and projects.

Increasing Scientific Outcomes

Approximately 19 per cent of Australian Government support for R&D is invested in increasing scientific outcomes through Australian Government research facilities and agencies.

Advancing Capabilities

Approximately 14 per cent of Australian Government support for R&D is invested in advancing capabilities across the business, higher education, government and other sectors.

Socio-economic objectives

Australian Government support for R&D is dedicated to accomplishing a number of socio-economic objectives. These objectives occur within eight broad categories:

  • Defence and space (5 per cent)
  • Earth and Environment (7 per cent)
  • Agriculture (7 per cent)
  • Culture and Social Systems (7 per cent)
  • Resources and Energy (8 per cent)
  • Health (14 per cent)
  • Industry, Technology, Transport and Infrastructure (26 per cent)
  • General advancement in knowledge (26 per cent).

Therefore, about 74 per cent of Australian Government support for R&D is applied addressing particular social, economic and environmental challenges, while 26 per cent is allocated to adding to knowledge more broadly.


Print version: Australia's investment in Science, Research and Innovation.

View the source data on the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science website.

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