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National Innovation and Science Agenda

7 December 2015

I welcome today’s release of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), which will provide a boost to Australia’s resources and energy sectors and northern Australia’s development.

Innovation has always been a key factor for the success of Australia’s mining and energy sectors. Innovation has led to Australia developing 60 per cent of the world’s mining software while these sectors spent $1.8 billion on research and development in 2013-14. This equates to 10 per cent of all Australian R&D spending.

The resources and energy sectors will benefit from a renewed focus on collaboration, a key pillar of NISA. The benefits of collaboration within these sectors are highlighted by a recent project between CSIRO and global mining company AMIRA. The improvements in mapping and geochemistry that followed this collaboration led to gold deposits worth $12 billion, two lead-zinc-silver deposits and two copper-gold deposits all being found within Australia.

NISA follows a number of important initiatives implemented by the Government to boost innovation in these sectors. These initiatives include a $100 million Exploration Development Incentive to support new exploration by junior miners by providing investor tax offsets, and establishing two Industry Growth Centres dedicated to expanding Australia’s excellence in mining equipment, technology and services, and the oil, gas and resources sectors.

Australia’s northern universities are well placed to take advantage of this innovation focus. Collectively, Central Queensland University, Charles Darwin University, and James Cook University, obtained the highest possible ranking in 13 different research fields in the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research 2015 report. In particular, our northern universities are well placed to capitalise on NISA’s focus on tropical health and medicine through the new Biomedical Translation Fund to help commercialise breakthroughs in tropical disease R&D.

A more innovative Australia will keep our nation competitive, create new jobs and opportunities for all Australians, and maintain our high standard of living. Importantly, it will also keep Australia’s resources and energy sectors strong while boosting the development of northern Australia.

More information can be seen at: www.innovation.gov.au.