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There are many organisations in Australia concerned in some way with the development of science and innovation.
Other complementary programs supporting commercialisation (beyond R&D) include the Innovation Access Program (which facilitates technology diffusion from overseas) and the Commercialising Emerging Technologies Program (which provides management assistance to innovative small businesses).
Biotechnology Australia is a collaboration of five Commonwealth departments, created to assist in coordinating the Government's approach to biotechnology.
Biotechnology Australia's aim is to increase the public's general awareness of biotechnology and its uses, through the provision of balanced and factual information explaining the technology, its applications, and regulations to safeguard people and the environment.
The goal is to ensure that Australia captures the benefits arising from the medical, agricultural and environmental application of biotechnology, while ensuring maximum safety for people as well as the environment.
Department of Education, Science and Training
The Department of Education, Science and Training is responsible for a number of federally supported science and technology-related development programs. The department includes the Science Group which provides quality analysis and policy advice, and delivers programs to help build and promote Australia's science and technology base. The Group includes the Science and Technology Policy Branch, the National Research Priorities Task Force, the International Relations and Collaboration Branch, the Science Programmes Branch and the Office of the Chief Scientist.
The department administers a number of programs to support innovation, including the Cooperative Research Centres Program.
The scientific and technological bodies of the portfolio include the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program
The CRC Program was launched in May 1990.
The CRC bring together researchers from universities, CSIRO and other government laboratories, and private industry or public sector agencies, in long-term collaborative arrangements which support research and development, and educational activities, that achieve real outcomes of national economic and social significance.
The program emphasises the importance of developing collaborative arrangements between researchers, and between researchers and research users in the private and public sectors, in order to maximise the capture of the benefits of publicly funded research through an enhanced process of commercialisation or utilisation by the users of that research.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
The CSIRO is an independent statutory authority constituted and operating under the provisions of the Science and Industry Research Act 1949 (Cwlth) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (Cwlth). Its primary role is as an applications-oriented research organisation in support of major industry sectors and selected areas of community interest, with a strong commitment to the effective transfer of its results to users.
It is one of the largest and most diverse scientific institutions in the world, with a staff of over 6,000 located at 60 sites throughout Australia.
Briefly, the CSIRO's primary statutory functions are to:
Other functions include dissemination and publication of scientific information, international liaison in scientific matters, and provision of services and facilities.
The CSIRO's work is planned and prioritised on a sectoral basis and conducted through core business units - CSIRO divisions. External advice on research priorities is channelled through sector advisory committees. Each sector represents an industry group, market, or natural resource of national significance. There are 22 sectors covering research in five broad groupings:
Agribusiness - field crops; food processing; forestry, wood and paper industries; horticulture; meat, dairy and aquaculture; wool and textiles
Environment and Natural Resources - biodiversity; climate and atmosphere; land and water; marine
Information Technology, Infrastructure and Services - information technology and telecommunications; built environment; measurement standards; radio astronomy; services
Manufacturing - chemicals and plastics; integrated manufactured products; pharmaceuticals and human health
Minerals and Energy - coal and energy; mineral exploration and mining; mineral processing and metal production; petroleum.