And, these advances have supported more than 1 million Australian jobs, or 10% of total employment.
The extent of science contribution to the economy is presented in a new report commissioned by the Office of the Chief Scientist and the Australian Academy of Science and produced by the Centre for International Economics (CIE). The report is a synthesis of two CIE studies - a new analysis of the contribution of advances in the biological sciences to the Australian economy, and a 2015 analysis of the contribution of the advanced natural and physical sciences.
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC, said the reports underscore the importance of science to all Australians.
“We have, for the first time, a credible estimate of a phenomenon that defines our lives and underpins our prospects for growth. I trust it will inform our discussions about the actions we take to maximise the benefits of science for Australians.”
Professor Andrew Holmes AM, President of the Australian Academy of Science, says that the finding that science contributes so substantially to Australia’s economy is consistent with similar analysis conducted in Australia and overseas.
“Our national situation is unique, but the message for all advanced economies is clear. Scientists, and the industries which harness their discoveries, are critical to prosperity.
“We need Australian science to address our own challenges, just as we need it to have access to the new knowledge uncovered overseas.”
To access the 2016 and 2015 reports, along with 'The importance of recent advances in the physical, mathematical and biological sciences to the Australian economy' (a synthesis of findings from both investigations) click here.