Innovation

Australia's development has been forged through its enterprising spirit— the resilience, creativity and unquenchable desire to succeed. Australian innovations have improved the lives of billions—from the black box flight recorder to Google Maps, from Wi-Fi technology to the bionic ear, from spray-on skin to a vaccine for cervical cancer.

Australia has also developed and implemented a National Innovation and Science Agenda that will drive smart ideas to create business growth, local jobs and global success.

Did you know?

Australia has produced 14 Nobel laureates.

Some recent Australian laureates are:

  • Brian P Schmidt, Physics, 2011
  • Elizabeth H Blackburn, Physiology or Medicine, 2009
  • Barry J Marshall, Physiology or Medicine, 2005
  • J Robin Warren, Physiology or Medicine, 2005

Did you know?

Five CSIRO scientists invented wireless LAN technology, these days known as WiFi, which is now used in more than five billion devices around the world.

Australia's research institutions are among the world's best and offer unsurpassed opportunities for industry partnerships. Australian scientists collaborate internationally in many fields from coral reef management to medicine. In 2012, Australia won the right to co-host, with South Africa, the world's largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array, which will give astronomers new insights into the universe.

Business expenditure on research and development is increasingly recognising Australia's research excellence: it has more than tripled in the last decade reaching A$18.8 billion in 2013–14.

Australia has always been an early adopter of innovations and new technologies and is a global leader in many sectors, with 15 out of 20 industries having productivity levels above global averages. An increasing number of innovative international companies have recognised these strengths and established facilities in Australia.

Australian inventions

  • Black box flight recorder
  • Bionic ear
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • Google Maps
  • Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine
  • Influenza treatment drug Relenza
  • Aspro
  • Pacemaker
  • Plastic disposable syringe
  • Dual-flush toilet
  • Anti-counterfeiting technology for banknotes
  • Spray-on skin for burns victims

Did you know?

The Square Kilometre Array will be the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed. The array will be co-hosted in two locations with central array sites in Australia and South Africa.

Artists rendition of the Square Kilometre Array in operation at night time (SKA Organisation)
Last Updated: 25 August 2016
Australian scientist working in a lab
Australian scientist working in a lab (Department of immigration and Border Protection)