Innovation

Australia’s intellectual capital, commercial focus and collaborative approach make it an ideal partner for business and investment activities.

International organisations have opportunities to collaborate with Australian research institutions, invest in or incorporate Australian solutions into existing products, or enter into joint ventures to take them to the global market.

Australia is:

  • ranked in the top 10 among OECD member nations for its total expenditure on R&D
  • involved in cutting-edge research, with Australian research findings regularly cited in many of the world’s leading publications
  • rated fifth in a ranking of the world’s top 200 universities by five key subject fields
  • home to world-class research institutions, modern ICT infrastructure and a well-educated workforce.
Australia's CSIRO ranks in the top 1% of the world's scientific institutions in 14 research fields

Australian innovation video

Charts from the Benchmark Report

The Australia Benchmark Report provides rich data demonstrating why there is no better place than Australia to do business. The report examines six key reasons for investing in Australia – Growth, Industries, Talent, Location, Business and Innovation – and compares Australia’s credentials with other countries.

Charts can be downloaded and saved as images for use in reports and presentations (when using please reference www.austrade.gov.au)

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1. Record of Innovation
Australia has a strong record of innovation, underpinned by its significant government and private sector R&D investment and quality-enabling ICT infrastructure. The country has a higher percentage of people employed in knowledge-intensive services than Canada, France, the USA, Germany, Japan and South Korea. Nearly 72 per cent of Australian research institutions (including universities, medical research institutes, businesses and publicly funded research agencies) achieve above average impact across their publications output.
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2. Australian Industry a Source of R&D Expenditure
Australia’s annual gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) rose by nine per cent per annum between 2000–01 and 2014–15 to exceed A$33 billion. Business expenditure on R&D accounts for 57 per cent of Australia’s total R&D expenditure, expanding from A$5 billion in 2000–01 to about A$19 billion in 2014–15. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent since 2001, well above Australia’s nominal GDP growth rate of 6.1 per cent. Total GERD represents 2.1 per cent of Australia’s nominal GDP, up from 1.5 per cent in 2001.
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3. Leading Economy for R&D Expenditure
Australia has a high proportion of researchers and its R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP in purchasing power parity terms is strong. The nation’s R&D spend places it among the world’s leading innovative countries, including the USA, Japan, France, Germany, Sweden and South Korea.
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4. Growing R&D Spending Economy
Australia’s expenditure on R&D is one of the fastest-growing in the world, reflecting the country’s ongoing commitment to innovation. Gross R&D expenditure in Australia has increased on average by 8.5 per cent a year in real terms since 2000, well above the OECD average growth rate of 4.8 per cent. The country’s total expenditure on R&D in purchasing power parity terms is ranked in the top 10 among OECD member nations.
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5. Australian Scientific Research Has Major Impact
Australia’s scientific research publications averaged a relative impact of at least 20 per cent above the global average in almost 82 per cent of the 22 scientific research fields in the Essential Science Indicators classification. Australia’s seven strongest categories of published research – computer science, multidisciplinary, physics, environment/ecology, space science, clinical medicine and engineering – reflect the country’s diverse research interests.
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6. Top Ranking Academic and Research Institutions
In a ranking of the world’s top 200 universities by five key subject fields, Australia has remained the fifth highest ranked country overall, with particularly strong performances in Life and Agriculture Sciences, Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences, and Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy. Australia’s performance is rated higher than economies such as Japan, France, Italy and Switzerland.
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