The National Innovation and Science Agenda
was announced by Australia’s Prime Minister on 7th December 2015 to help to create a modern, dynamic, 21st century economy for Australia. The Government will invest $1.1 billion to incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk taking, and promote science, maths and computing in schools. One of the four priority areas is Collaboration, to increase the level of engagement between businesses, universities and the research sector to commercialise ideas and solve problems.


Industry Growth Centres in key sectors of competitive advantage, as targeted by the National Innovation and Science Agenda Report, are: -
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources


The historic outcome of the global climate change conference in Paris on 12th December 2015, will necessitate transition from use of fossil fuels to environmentally friendly alternatives. In Australia, sources of renewable energy have already grown to providing over 13% of electricity requirements. With a 23.5% target by 2020 for Australia’s electricity generation to come from renewable sources, Science and Innovation have a vital role to play in the continuing development of the various alternatives:-
  • Hydro power
  • Wind power
  • Solar
  • Geothermal energy
  • Wave power
  • Biofuels
  • Biomass



Science and Innovation in WA is widely encouraged and supported by:-

Chief Scientist of WA

WA Office of Science - five key areas identified: 1) Mining and Energy, 2) Medicine and Health, 3) Agriculture and Food, 4) Biodiversity and Marine Science, 5) Radio Astronomy

WA Government

WA Department of Agriculture and Food

WA Department of Commerce - Industry and Innovation

WA Department of Mines and Petroleum

WA Department of Fisheries - including its Research Division

WA Department of Parks and Wildlife

Conservation Council of Western Australia

ChemCentre for chemical and forensic analytical testing

Earth Science Western Australia to support the teaching of earth science in schools

Woodside Australian Science Project (WASP) aims to produce support packages for the Earth Science component of the Australian Curriculum

Marine WATERs (Western Australian Teacher Education Resources) designed to connect educators and students with resources to address challenges facing the sustainability of our aquatic resources

Naturalist Marine Discovery Centre to explore WA’s oceans and rivers

Gravity Discovery Centre for leading science in physics and astronomy

Perth Observatory conducting research in astronomy

Scitech promoting awareness and participation in science, technology, engineering, mathematics

Technology Park Bentley, home to the Innovation Centre WA, and more than 100 organisations including technology based industry, research and development, academia and support organisations

Women in Technology Western Australia (WiTWA) encourages diversity and supports women and young people in technology, science and innovation

Western Australian Museum housing WA’s scientific and cultural collection

Curtin University

Edith Cowan University

Murdoch University

The University of Notre Dame

The University of Western Australia


Here are a few stories of more organisations, collaboratives, and projects in Western Australia leading the way with Science and Innovation:-

Admedus (ASX: AHZ) - based Malaga WA, came into being 2013, is a fully integrated specialist healthcare company with a global footprint. Key strategic business drivers include investing in unique research programs by partnering with world-class experts to develop and commercialise new medical technologies with global potential. World renowned Professor Ian Frazer is leading the development of a new range of therapeutic vaccines that have the ability to treat infectious diseases and some cancers. The proprietary ADAPT  tissue engineering process developed by Professor Leon Neethling has been launched into Europe and the United States.


Linear Clinical Research Limited - based Nedlands WA, specialises in the conduct of early phase clinical trials. The company, founded by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and built through funds provided by the Western Australian Government, predominantly service the U.S Biotechnology and the U.S Pharmaceutical industry where Australia offers a fast regulatory framework to move investigational therapeutics into human trials. Linear has strong connections with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, one of Australia’s leading teaching tertiary hospitals, as well as Royal Perth Hospital and Fremantle Hospital.  


Orthocell (ASX: OCC) - based Murdoch University WA, founded 2006, ASX listed 2014, is a Bio-therapeutic company dedicated to improvement of the lives of people suffering from soft tissue injuries by providing innovative approaches to the regeneration of tendon, cartilage and soft tissue injuries. More than 500,000 cartilage surgeries are undertaken in the United States each year and the use of growth factors to prevent or augment a portion of these surgeries represents an attractive market opportunity for Orthocell.  


ResApp Health Limited (ASX: RAP) - based in Perth, ResApp was founded in 2014 and is developing healthcare solutions to assist doctors and empower patients to diagnose and manage respiratory disease without the need for additional hardware. ResApp has been granted an exclusive license for technology that uses sound to diagnose respiratory diseases including pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. ResApp was formed to commercialise this technology by developing the world’s first clinically-tested, regulatory-approved respiratory diagnostic application for smartphones.  


Shark Mitigation Systems Limited (ASX: SM8) - based in Perth, Shark Mitigation Systems, was founded by Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson who have a mission to better understand shark behaviour and to develop non-invasive solutions for water users to mitigate shark attacks. Following a high incidence of fatal shark attacks along the coastline of Western Australia, Perth has become a global focal point for research and innovation in the field of shark science. Visual technology has led to the striped “don’t eat me” wetsuit and surfboard. Also the sonar detection system Clever Buoy detects sharks and transfers a warning system to shore. The company works in collaboration with the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia.  


Carnegie Clean Energy (ASX: CCE) - based in Fremantle WA, ASX listed 1993, is the inventor, owner and developer of the patented CETO wave energy technology that converts ocean swell into zero-emission renewable power and desalinated freshwater. With test sites in Garden Island in Western Australia, and Hayle in Cornwall, Carnegie is focused on the global commercialisation of its CETO technology, with pipeline projects for places including Ireland, Canada, Chile, Bermuda, and Mauritius. In late 2016, Carnegie acquired 100% of the Solar and Battery Microgrid Business “Energy Made Clean”. Through this acquisition, Carnegie is now at the forefront of designing, developing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining microgrids, utilising a world-first combination of wave, solar, wind, energy storage, desalination and diesel in both on and off-grid applications in Australia and internationally.   


Hazer Group (ASX: HZR) - based Nedlands WA, established 2010, ASX listed 2015, is a chemical engineering technology company undertaking the commercialisation of the Hazer Process developed by researchers at the University of Western Australia.  The Hazer Process is a low cost and low emission process for generating hydrogen and graphite from natural gas without the carbon dioxide emissions traditionally associated with hydrogen production from hydrocarbons. Global hydrogen production in 2014 is estimated at over 64 million tonnes, at a total value of over US$100 billion.  


Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) - based Curtin University WA, is delivering high-impact research that makes a real di­fference to agricultural industries. Supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the centre aims to improve the economics and sustainability of farming by combating common crop diseases through genetics and fungicide research, while improving agronomy and farm management practices. Savings to industry from the discoveries and outcomes is expected to increase to nearly $400 million per year by 2020.  


Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) - is a leading Australian marine research organisation, being a collaboration of State, Federal, industry and academic entities cooperating to create benchmark research and independent, quality scientific information. It carries out research into climate change, biodiversity, the iconic Ningaloo Marine Park, sustainable fisheries, biotechnology and oceanography, and has overseen the development of a large marine bio resources library. WAMSI's 15 partners have built on a strong marine science capacity with more than 250 scientists working on 85 research projects.  


Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre - due for completion in 2015-2016, this Centre will bring together four of Australia’s leading research organisations working in and around the Indian Ocean: the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the CSIRO, the State Government Department of Fisheries, and The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Oceans Institute. The collaboration will develop multi-disciplinary research teams and significantly advance Australia’s marine science capacity, capability and profile.  


Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WAERA) - established by the CSIRO, Curtin University and The University of Western Australia in 2003, has a mission to fostering collaboration and resourcing for petroleum and geosequestration related research that provides innovative, safe and sustainable solutions.  WAERA supports the National Resource Sciences Precinct, and builds on core R&D, with industry alliance partners including Woodside, Chevron, and Shell.  


The National Resource Sciences Precinct (NRSP) - is a CSIRO, Curtin University and The University of Western Australia collaboration connecting the world’s best researchers with industry and government to tackle some of the most complex challenges facing the resources industry. Physically, the Precinct is located across a number of established sites within a 6km radius of  Perth City Centre. Between its foundation partners, the NRSP hosts more than 400 FTE research staff all addressing the future needs of the global resources industries. The collaborative Advanced Resources Characterisation Facility (ARCF) is housed under the NRSP and includes three pieces of equipment, including the NanoSIMS probe, MAIA Mapper and Atom Probe, dedicated to helping researchers understand the properties of mineral and energy samples. ARCF also utilises the Pawsey Supercomputer.


Pawsey Supercomputing Centre - is a high performance computing national facility located at Kensington, WA. Pawsey is an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. Funding comes from the joint venture partners, the Western Australian Government and the Australian Government. Pawsey provides infrastructure to support a computational research workflow including supercomputers and cloud computing, data storage and visualisation. Application areas include nanotechnology, high energy physics, medical research, mining and petroleum, architecture and construction, multimedia, and urban planning, amongst others. Pawsey is an integral component of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio astronomy telescopes.

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre Projects

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – will be the largest radio telescope ever constructed, being built in Australia and South Africa, which will have a total collecting area of approximately one square kilometre, making it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument. Construction of the SKA is scheduled to begin in 2018 for initial observations by 2020. The SKA, a global project with ten member countries, aims to answer fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe. The core site in Australia is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) at Mileura Station near Boolardy in Western Australia, 315 km north-east of Geraldton.


The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) - was founded in August 2009 with the specific purpose of supporting Australia’s bid to host the world’s largest radio telescope and one of the largest scientific endeavours in history, the Square Kilometre Array. ICRAR is a joint venture between Curtin University and The University of Western Australia with funding support from the State Government of Western Australia. ICRAR has research nodes at both universities and is now host to over 100 staff and postgraduate students. The organisation is ranked in the top 5 university-based radio astronomy research centres in the world.  


Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI)  - located at Nedlands in Perth, CERI was established in 2015 by Charles Bass with a primary mission to work with postgraduate researchers in entrepreneurship,  innovation and startup company formation to drive a vibrant commercial ecosystem in WA. A Commercialisation Panel will consist primarily of industry experts, angel and venture capital investment representatives, and proven Entrepreneurs. A Stakeholder Advisory Panel will consist of representatives from each of WA’s universities, research institutes, and various levels of government. Using Modules, Workshops and Mentoring, teams will be given the tools to think entrepreneurially and innovatively, leading to the translation of research through commercialisation with positive real-world effect.  

SPARK in Perth  - SPARK Co-Lab and the SPARK Actuator are affiliated with the Stanford University SPARK Program that has been successfully translating new medical discoveries over the last decade.  SPARK Co-Lab is part of the global SPARK network. In Perth SPARK mentors advise participants on product development, clinical care, business, financing and more. Mentors prepare participants for careers in the industry of medical discovery. Together with researchers and academics, industry mentors work to realise novel medical device, therapeutics or diagnostics.  


Innovate Australia - based in Perth, Innovation Australia encourages, assists and proactively promotes Australian Innovation. Innovate Australia operates independently of government, industry and universities, however works with a range of stakeholders on unique and forward thinking projects across Australia. The Directors of Innovate Australia are Peter Kasprzak, Garry Baverstock AM, Professor Adam Osseiran and Carol Wallbank. Events are held regularly through the year with expert speakers on topics which have included Agriculture Innovation, Biomimicry Innovation, Energy Innovation, Oil & Gas Innovation, and Medical Innovation.