2019 Annual Report

The Australian Science and Research Priorities identify areas of immediate and critical importance to the nation and our place in the world.

Developed in 2015 by the Australian Federal Government, Australia’s Science and Research Priorities are designed to ensure that science and research efforts reflect the needs of industry, the economy and the community.  They highlight the most significant opportunities and challenges facing Australia, and are indicators of where major investment should focus.  These priorities are listed below and the priorities in bold indicate areas where there is overlap with the Centre’s research.



  • Demand, supply chains and the identification of country specific preferences for food Australia can produce.
  • Social, economic and other barriers to achieving access to healthy Australian foods.
  • Enhanced food production through:
    • novel technologies, such as sensors, robotics, and real-time data systems and traceability, all integrated into the full production chain;
    • better management and use of waste and water; increased food quality, safety, stability and shelf life;
    • protection of food sources through enhanced biosecurity;
    • genetic composition of food sources appropriate for present and emerging Australian condition.



  • A fundamental understanding of the physical state of the Australian crust, its resource endowment and recovery.
  • Knowledge of environmental issues associated with resource extraction.
  • Lowering the risk to sedimentary basins and marine environments due to resource extraction.
  • Technologies to optimise yield through effective and efficient resource extraction, processing and waste management.

Soil and water

  • New and integrated national observing systems, technologies and modelling frameworks.
  • Understanding sustainable limits for productive use of soil, water, terrestrial and marine ecosystem.
  • Restoration and remediation of soil, fresh and potable water, urban catchments and marine systems.


Cyber security


                            • Highly secure and resilient communications and data acquisition, storage, retention and analysis.
                            • Secure, trustworthy and fault-tolerant technologies.
                            • New technologies and approaches to support the nation’s cyber security.
                            • Understanding the scale of the cyber security challenge for Australia.



  • Low emission energy production from fossil fuels and other sources.
  • New clean energy sources and storage technologies.
  • Australian electricity grids that can readily integrate and more efficiently transmit energy.




Advanced manufacturing

  • Knowledge of Australia’s comparative advantages, constraints and capacity to meet demand.
  • Cross-cutting technologies that will reduce risk, scale up and add value to Australian manufactured products.
  • Specialised, high value-add areas such as high-performance materials, composites, alloys and polymers.


  • Low emission fuels and technologies for domestic and global markets.
  • Urban design, autonomous vehicles, electrified transport, sensor technologies, real time data and spatial analysis.
  • Effective pricing, operation and resource allocation.


Environmental change

                            • Predicting and measuring the impact of environmental changes caused by climate and local factors.
                            • Resilient urban, rural and regional infrastructure.
                            • Options for responding and adapting to the impacts of environmental change on biological systems, urban and rural communities and industry.




  • Better models of healthcare and services that improve outcomes, reduce disparities for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, increase efficiency and provide greater value for a given expenditure.
  • Improved prediction, identification, tracking, prevention and management of emerging local and regional health threats.
  • Better health outcomes for Indigenous people, with strategies for both urban and regional communities.
  • Effective technologies for individuals to manage their own healthcare.