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Investing in research to drive our economic recovery

Investing in research to drive our economic recovery

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Minister for Education

13 November 2020

Investing in research to drive our economic recovery


The Morrison Government is investing $255 million in university research as part of our plan to help drive Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan today announced funding for 591 research projects in the national interest led by Australian researchers under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects scheme.

"These research projects are part of our Government’s plan to invest in ideas and innovation to help power Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19," Mr Tehan said.

"This investment in research will complement the additional $1 billion for university research and $157 million for research infrastructure announced in the 2020 Budget. The Budget also provides $5.8 million to design a scheme to accelerate turning university research into new products, job creation, productivity gains and economic growth.

"The $900 million Industry Linkage Fund, created as part of the Job-ready Graduates package, will incentivise university engagement with industry and focus on creating more STEM-skilled and job-ready graduates in areas of industry and community priority."

Funded projects include:

  • $427,250 to improve the conservation of Australia’s world-famous orchid breeds by researching the flowers’ pollination strategies. The project will also build a national database of biological, chemical and genomic data and also discover new scent compounds and their associated genes with the potential for future commercial use in perfumes and flavours (Australian National University).
  • $450,000 to fund an Australian research team to take part in the preliminary examination of samples taken from the asteroid Ryugu by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which is only the fifth extraterrestrial sample return mission in history. This research will benefit Australia economically by helping guide our space industry in future exploration of asteroids for commercial purposes (Australian National University).
  • $416,369 to investigate how older Australians can optimise cognitive-motor function and quality of life, contributing to a better understanding of the ageing process, and the activities that can contribute to improved wellbeing (Macquarie University).

Media contact:
Tehan: Byron Vale 02 6277 7350 |

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