Release type: Joint Media Release


Research plan to boost families, businesses and farmers


Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
Manager of Government Business in the Senate
Senator for South Australia
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Jobs and Innovation
Senator for Western Australia

Tackling cancer, boosting farm crops, cyber security and better management of the Great Barrier Reef are just some of the benefits set to flow from a landmark research investment strategy revealed by the Turnbull Government.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash said the Turnbull Government’s new $1.9 billion Research Infrastructure Investment Plan would be critical to the lives of Australians. The Plan directly responds to the recommendations from the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap developed by a group of experts led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO.

“Our research plan will mean a better Australia for families, businesses and farmers,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The Turnbull Government is partnering with researchers and facilities across our world leading universities and other research institutions that will deliver a stronger economy, a healthier environment and cutting-edge medicines and treatments.

“With the nearly $2 billion we’ve committed over the next decade to upgrade and strengthen Australia’s research facilities, our world-leading scientists and researchers will have the tools they need to support their vital work.

“This is the single largest and most comprehensive investment in research by any Australian Government and it builds on the $189 million we announced last year for computational infrastructure and astronomy facilities as well as the $150 million per annum of indexed funding certainty we delivered in 2016 for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy under the National Science and Innovation Agenda.

“Australia’s prosperity depends on the work being done in these research labs today and into the future.”

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash said the Turnbull Government’s investments would help unleash innovation potential across the country.

“This investment will ensure our researchers and industry have greater access to state-of-the-art facilities and advances in research, driving economic growth, creating jobs, and producing outcomes that will be enormously beneficial for us all,” Minister Cash said.

“This investment will also facilitate international science and research partnerships in areas like astronomy, food security, bioscience, quantum computing, resource management and nanotechnologies.

“Our plan secures more than 370 technical roles and a further estimated 500 jobs for highly skilled technicians. Every year an estimated 40,000 students and researchers, people in industry, government and business will benefit from the upgrades.

“This is an investment to drive scientific discoveries and innovations that will improve the lives of people around the world, and create businesses and jobs in Australia.”

The Research Infrastructure Investment Plan includes a range of projects and facilities with examples like:

  • Remote sensor data on a range of ocean conditions that will help preserve the health of the Great Barrier Reef
  • A recently developed blood test that is improving the screening of bowel cancer detection, which will save lives
  • Construction of facilities capable of designing devices on the nanoscale to be on the forefront of the quantum computing revolution
  • Expanding the Southern Hemisphere’s unique nuclear capabilities to drive advances in biotechnology, agricultural, chemical and material sciences

These national research infrastructure facilities support the ground-breaking work of Australian scientists like 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons and Senior Australian of the Year, plant scientist Dr Graham Farquhar AO.

The Research Infrastructure Investment Plan is available at:

Facility name

Funding under Investment Plan

(2017/18 to 2021/22)

Total NCRIS funding, including extended NCRIS operational funding, where appropriate

(2017/18 to 2028/29)



Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)



Victorian Node

Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (Clayton) (HQ)

Monash University (Clayton)

The University of Melbourne (Parkville)

LaTrobe University (Bundoora)

Swinburne University (Hawthorn)

RMIT University (Melbourne)

CSIRO (Clayton and Geelong)

Deakin University (Geelong)


NSW Node

University of New South Wales (Sydney)


WA Node

University of Western Australia (Crawley campus, Perth)


Qld Node

The University of Queensland (St Lucia) – Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and BioNano Device Fabrication Facility at the School of Chemistry's Centre for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE)

Griffith University - Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre (QMNC)


SA Node

University of South Australia

Flinders University


ACT Node

Australian National University


Optofab Node

Macquarie University (Sydney) (HQ)

Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (The University of Adelaide)

Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (The University of Sydney, Camperdown)

Bandwidth Foundry International (Sydney Nanoscience Hub, The University of Sydney, Camperdown)


Materials Node

University of Newcastle

Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (University of Wollongong)


ANFF supports research that enables processing of materials for application in defence, sensors, medical devices, nanophotonics and nanoelectronics.


New instruments will enable Australia to not only undertake world-class R&D but also rapid prototyping of next generation equipment and application of the technology for industry and commercialisation.

Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)




Bluewater and Climate Node

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship (Hobart) (lead institution)

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) (The University of Tasmania, Hobart) (HQ)


Queensland’s Integrated Marine Observing System (Q-IMOS)

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) (lead institution) (Townsville and Cairns)

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship (lead institution)


New South Wales Integrated Marine Observing System (NSW-IMOS)

Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) (Rose Bay, Sydney) (lead institution)


Southern Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (SAIMOS)

South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Aquatic Sciences (Primary Industries and Regions SA) (Adelaide) (lead institution)

Flinders University (Adelaide) (lead institution)


Western Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (WAIMOS)

Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (University of Western Australia, Crawley campus) (lead institution)


South East Australia Integrated Marine Observing System (SEA-IMOS)

CSIRO (Hobart)

IMAS, University of Tasmania (Hobart)

Deakin University (Geelong, Vic)

IMOS undertakes essential systematic, scientifically robust observation of Australia’s vast and valuable ocean economy, and converts the observations into data, time series, products and analyses that are used and reused for broad economic benefit by the domestic and international marine and climate science communities. 


New funding will allow enhanced data streams from IMOS will create a significant step change necessary to enable Australia fully realise our vast and valuable marine estate for tourism, climate management and resource management. It will also bring genomic technologies out of the laboratory for new research into a marine microbial observatory in Australian coastal waters.

Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF)



Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis

The University of Sydney Node, Camperdown (lead agent) co-located at the Charles Perkins Centre, Sydney Nanoscience Hub, Madsen Building, and Brain & Mind Centre


Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis

The University of Queensland Node (St Lucia, Qld)


Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis

The University of Western Australia (various campuses)


Centre for Advanced Microscopy and CTLab

The Australian National University Node (Canberra, ACT)


Electron Microscope Unit

University of New South Wales Node


Adelaide Microscopy, the Centre for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis

The University of Adelaide Node (Adelaide, SA)


Flinders Microscopy

Flinders University Node (Bedford Park, SA)


South Australian Regional Facility

An alliance of Adelaide Microscopy, Flinders Microscopy and the Future Industries Institute (Flinders University HQ)

AMMRF is a national grid of equipment, instrumentation and expertise in microscopy and microanalysis for widely used and cutting edge techniques, including optical, electron and X-ray techniques. Researchers in fields as diverse as biology, metallurgy, archaeology, engineering, energy and immunology all utilise this facility.


New funding will build AMMRF highly-technical equipment and establish next generation instrumentation to support health research and biomedical translation programs.

Bioplatforms Australia (BPA)




Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics (UNSW, Sydney)


Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Darlinghurst, NSW)


Biomolecular Resource Facility (John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU, Canberra)


Australian Genome Research Facility Ltd (AGRF) (laboratories in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth)



Adelaide Proteomics Centre (The University of Adelaide and SA Pathology, Adelaide, SA)


Monash Antibody Technology Facility (Monash University, Clayton, Vic)


Monash Biomedical Proteomics Facility (Monash University, Clayton, Vic)


Proteomics International (Perth, WA)


Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW)



University of Western Australia (Perth)


University of Melbourne (Parkville)


Australian Wine Research Institute (Waite Campus, Adelaide, SA)


Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld)


Separation Science and Metabolomics Laboratory (SSML) (Murdoch University, North Ryde, NSW)



New South Wales Systems Biology Initiative (University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW)


Centre for Comparative Genomics (Murdoch University, Perth, WA)

EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource (The University of Queensland)

BPA provides services and scientific infrastructure in the specialist fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics.


Funding will provide upgrades to next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry, to support research into new medical treatments and emerging opportunities in biomedicine, medical technology, agribusiness and environmental conservation.

RV Investigator



Marine National Facility CSIRO, Tasmania

Funding would allow the Research Vessel RV Investigator to operate for 300 days at sea, a 120 day increase to its current supported sea days, and receive a mid-life upgrade to ensure it remains state of the art. The increased number of days at sea will deliver maximum benefit to its scientific endeavours. 




Earth Imaging and Earth Sounding and Geophysical Education Inversion Laboratory Programs

Component leader based at the Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU, Canberra


Simulation, Analysis and Modelling (SAM) Program

Component leader based in the School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne


Inversion Laboratory Program

Component leader based at the University of Queensland


Geospatial Framework and Geospatial Observatory Program

Component leader based at Geoscience Australia, Symonston, ACT


Earth Composition & Evolution and Geochemistry Programs

Component leader based at the John de LAeter Centre at Curtin University, Perth, WA


Subsurface Observatory Program

Component leader based at The University of Melbourne


Geophysical Education Program

Component leader based at ANU, Canberra


Grid Geoscience Information and National Virtual Core Library Programs

Component leader based at the CSIRO Minerals Resources Flagship


Auscope provides a world-class infrastructure system for earth sciences, including physical infrastructure to acquire and manage data, and software to develop models and simulations.


The new funding will provide for instrumentation and IT platform upgrades with priority towards Earth imaging, subsurface observatory and spatial representation to improve the discovery, development and management of Australia’s minerals, energy and groundwater resources.

National Collections



Various locations in Canberra

CSIRO is the custodian of a number of collections of animal and plant specimens that contribute to national and international biological knowledge. Together, they constitute a vast storehouse of information about Australia’s biodiversity and underpin a significant part of the country’s taxonomic, genetic, agricultural and ecological research.


Funding will provide for a new, dedicated, purpose built building to consolidate and appropriately store a number of Australia’s critical national collections currently housed in disparate buildings each requiring repair to prevent loss of irreplaceable specimens.

Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN)



University of Melbourne

(Parkville, Vic).

AURIN is a cooperative national project which provides environment and urban researchers, designers and planners with electronic infrastructure to facilitate access to a distributed network of aggregated datasets and information services.


New funding will enable linkage of high-value datasets to support research and complex government decision making, especially in urban environments and transport.

Translating Health Discovery (Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA))




Compounds Australia

Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld


Children’s Cancer Institute

Kensington, NSW


Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility (ATMCF)

Monash University (Clayton, Vic)


National Biologics Facility

The University of Queensland (St Lucia, Qld) and CSIRO BioManufacturing Program (Clayton, Vic)


Cell and Tissue Therapies WA

Royal Perth Hospital (Perth, WA)


Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation

Monash University (Clayton, Vic)


Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development

The University of Queensland (St Lucia, Qld)


Molecular Pathology Laboratory

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Melbourne, Vic)


Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR)

The University of Sydney (Camperdown, NSW)


Centre for Cancer Biology

Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRD) Cancer Genomics Facility (SA Pathology and University of Adelaide, SA)


Melbourne EpiCentre

The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital (Parkville, Vic)


High Throughput Screening Facility

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (Parkville and Bundoora, Vic)

TIA provides instrumentation and services to enable therapeutic research and improve Australian capacity in translation of therapeutic discoveries into clinical applications. 


Investments will enable significant advancements to drive clinical trials for improved health outcomes and health system efficiencies, including in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.