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Institutional framework


Institutional framework

Institutional Framework

The principle government science and technology agencies and academies financed by the Australian Government are:

  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS)
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
  • Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
  • Australian Astronomical Observatory  (AAO)
  • National Health and Medical research Council (NHMRC)
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Australian Academy of Science

DIIS DIIS helps to shape Australia's economy by developing the Australian Government’s policies and programmes for science as well as Australia’s investment in science, research and innovation.


CSIRO CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. CSIRO is developing and improving new and existing technologies in Australia and overseas, and improving the understanding and appreciation of science in the community.

ANSTO The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is Australia 's national nuclear research and development organization and the centre of Australian nuclear expertise and it is responsible for delivering specialised advice, scientific services and products to government, industry, academia and other research organizations. ANSTO's nuclear infrastructure includes the OPAL research reactor, particle accelerators, radiopharmaceutical production facilities and a range of other unique research facilities. OPAL  is Australia 's only nuclear reactor. It is used to produce radioactive products for use in medicine and industry and as a source of neutron beams for scientific research. It also manages the Australian Synchrotron facilities located in Melbourne

ARC The Australian Research Council (ARC) is an important source of funding Australia's research effort. The ARC supports the highest quality research and research training through national competition in all fields of science, social sciences and the humanities.

AIMS The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) was established by the Commonwealth government in 1972 to generate and transfer the knowledge needed for the sustainable use and protection of the marine environment through innovative, world-class scientific and technological research.

AAO  The Australian Asronomical Observatory is an organization established in 1971 to provide world-class optical and infrared observing facilities for Australian and international astronomers. It operates the largest optical/infrared telescope in Australia, a 3.9-m telescope located at the Siding Springs Observatory.  

NHMRC   The NHMRC is Australia’s leading expert body promoting the development and maintenance of public and individual health standards. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) consolidates within a single national organization the often independent functions of research funding and development of advice. One of its strengths is that it brings together and draws upon the resources of all components of the health system, including governments, medical practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals, researchers, teaching and research institutions, public and private program managers, service administrators, community health organizations, social health researchers and consumers.The Act sets down four statutory obligations on the directions taken by NHMRC. These obligations are: to raise the standard of individual and public health throughout Australia ; to foster the development of consistent health standards between the various States and Territories; to foster medical research and training and public health research and training throughout Australia ; and to foster consideration of ethical issues relating to health.


GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA Geoscience Australia is Australia's pre-eminent public sector geoscience organisation. It is Australia's trusted advisor on the geology and geography of Australia, applying science and technology to describe and understand the Earth for the benefit of Australia.

AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE The objectives of the Academy are to promote science through a range of activities. It has defined four major program areas:recognition of outstanding contributions to science, education and public awareness, science policy, international relations. The Academy is Australia's representative on the International Council for Science (ICSU) and many of its constituent organizations. The Academy supports delegates to business meetings and provides information about ICSU within Australia. At any time about 300 Australians hold honorary offices in ICSU organizations. The Academy operates an international scientific collaborations program to improve Australian access to global science and technology in North America, Europe and Asia. The program gives Australian researchers the opportunity to collaborate with foreign colleagues, widen research perspectives and experience, to exchange ideas, to be recognised in the international arena, to gain information and knowledge of techniques that will stimulate and advance Australian research, and to be involved in large international projects.


In addition to these, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) is an independent non-government organisation dedicated to the promotion of Australia’s prosperity through technological innovation.