Science and commercialisation are essential for increasing Australia’s productivity. They enhance the quality and effectiveness of Australia’s knowledge and technology base, leading to globally competitive industries. International science and innovation partnerships extend Australia’s research and development output and impact. They open access to world-leading expertise, infrastructure, markets, investment and funding programs. Through strong international partnerships, Australian researchers are able to better their skills, experience and opportunities. Australian Government investments in science and commercialisation activities (both financial and intellectual) are leveraged internationally. International partnerships support a dynamic Australian innovation system.

The Australian Government’s Global Innovation Strategy is focused on improving Australia’s international innovation and science collaboration by aligning existing and new initiatives with the desired outcomes under the National Innovation and Science Agenda. The strategy addresses known vulnerabilities and challenges through international collaboration and startup support and shifts engagement towards multi-partner collaborative projects. The strategy leverages and builds on existing government initiatives to:

  • enhance whole-of-government global engagement
  • build business–research collaboration
  • draw talent and investment into Australia
  • increase links to global value chains
  • facilitate an innovative, open marketplace for Australian businesses and researchers in the Asia–Pacific

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s role is to position Australian science and innovation internationally. The department works to ensure that Australia’s science and innovation achievements are globally recognised; that Australia is recognised as a competitive partner of choice internationally; and that barriers to international science and innovation collaboration are removed.

International engagement assists the department to achieve its vision of enabling growth and productivity for globally competitive industries.  International engagement is underpinned by the department’s Strategic Plan (2016-2020) objectives to:

  • support science and commercialisation
  • growing business investment and improving business capability
  • streamlining regulation
  • building a high performance organisation.

Engagement is focussed on the world science and innovation ‘super powers’ with a ‘pull-up’ effect on Australia’s innovation capacity. Australia has long-standing and active partnerships with these countries, and there is a demonstrated history of these partnerships delivering mutual benefit. Australia also engages with emerging science and innovation countries, looking for long-term partnerships of mutual advantage. The department engages with these partners in policy discussions, knowledge sharing, joint projects and funding programs, and benchmarking activities, including those progressed through multilateral fora. The department ensures that the governments of these nations are aware of Australia’s scientific capability and innovation achievements.

The department’s Overseas Counsellor Network, strategically placed in key regions, is responsible for international engagement on the department’s programs and activities, including science and innovation. Information regarding the roles and locations of our Counsellors is available at: Department's Overseas Counsellor Network.

The department also works closely with the Department of Education and Training’s international network, regarding our international innovation and science priorities.

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