The ARC's Discovery funding schemes recognise the importance of fundamental research to the national innovation system. The national innovation system includes the people (for example, in government, higher education and business), processes and relationships involved in 'new' knowledge in a knowledge-based economy.

A strong capability in fundamental research (sometimes called discovery, basic or blue sky research) will result in the development of new ideas, the creation of jobs, economic growth and an enhanced quality of life in Australia.

The objectives of Discovery are to:

  • support excellent fundamental research by individuals and teams
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in the research priority areas
  • assist researchers to undertake their research in conditions most conducive to achieving best results
  • expand Australia's knowledge base and research capability
  • foster the international competitiveness of Australian research
  • encourage research training in high-quality research environments
  • enhance international collaboration in research.

The Discovery schemes are: