STEM – Vision for a Science Nation

The Australian Government is taking a whole of government and strategic approach in the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In considering the recommendations of the Chief Scientist’s paper on STEM: Australia’s Future, the Government released a discussion paper on 22 June 2015.

The paper outlined the Government’s efforts to enhance Australian competitiveness, support high quality STEM education and training, maximise research potential and strengthen international engagement.

Over a 6 week period, consultations were held across Australia with representatives from academia, research, education and industry sectors, in order to identify any potential gaps.

The Government is in the process of considering the feedback from the consultation process and this will inform Government consideration of additional actions and initiatives that may be required.

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STEM consultation Process – consultation has now closed.

The Australian Government wants ideas and feedback from industry, the research and education sectors and the wider community on a long term strategy for boosting Australia’s capability in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Vision for a Science Nation - Responding to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia's Future |

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP and the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, have released a consultation paper, to stimulate discussion. The paper responds to the key issues raised by the Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, in his report.

Feedback on the paper will assist with the development of a national strategy to foster STEM skills and knowledge – a strategy which will support the Australian Government’s vision for a future in which Australia is a leading nation in STEM.

Why is STEM important to Australia?

STEM is critical to boosting Australia’s international competitiveness and national well-being. STEM knowledge and skills lead to new products, more efficient services, and a more diverse, resilient and sustainable economy. As a nation, a better understanding of science and maths will help us address national challenges and ensure that Australians can continue to enjoy good jobs, quality health care, a sustainable environment and the opportunities and services they deserve.

However, STEM capabilities in Australia are at risk of falling behind those of our major international competitors and partners. STEM skills will be increasingly critical to the jobs of the future, and to meeting important national challenges – so it is important that we act now.

What we are already doing – and what we need to do now

The Australian Government invests around $9 billion each year on science, research and innovation – in addition to our investment in school education.

Public investment supports research and STEM skills development in universities, organisations like CSIRO, and in businesses large and small.

The Australian Government has put science at the heart of its industry policy, the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which sets out goals for economic growth, greater innovation and entrepreneurship, a more skilled workforce and a more business-friendly economic and regulatory environment. The Australian Government is focussed on lifting Australia’s rate of business and research collaboration to deliver commercial outcomes, economic growth and productivity gains.

The Australian Government has also established nine new Science and Research priorities to build capability in key areas and guide future investment in STEM.

If you have any queries, please contact the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science via

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