A powerful voice for the sector

Science & Technology Australia is the voice of Australia’s science and technology community.

STA advocates publicly and behind the scenes on behalf of 135 science and technology member organisations, representing a unique grassroots network of more than 115,000 scientists and technologists nationwide.

STA powerfully shapes policy and strengthens support for the nation's science and technology sector and workforce.

A powerful voice for the science STEM sector

Some of our recent policy wins

Strong advocacy on Indigenous knowledges

In close partnership with senior Indigenous STEM leaders, STA advocated strongly for Indigenous knowledges to be one of Australia's official National Science and Research Priorities.

A new National Industry PhD program

In 2022-23, STA launched Australia's new Industry PhD program for the Department of Education, Campus Plus and Cruxes Innovation. Round 2 was launched in August 2023.

Demand-driven funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students nationwide

STA's submission to the Australian Universities Accord recommended uncapping government-supported places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, regardless of where they live. This was a priority recommendation in the Accord Interim Report and legislation passed in October 2023 to enact this change.

Independent Review of the Australian Research Council Act 2001

Key recommendations from STA's submission to the review of the Australian Research Council Act 2001 were adopted in the final report. The Panel recommended abolishing the Ministerial veto power on research grants; a shift to a 2-stage application process (ARC announced a 2-stage application process for Discovery Projects from 2024) and enshrining a legislative safeguard for discovery research. Education Minister Jason Clare agreed to all the Panel's recommendations in August 2023.

Put science at the heart of Australia's self-image

STA advocated for the National Science Statement to set out a bold ambition to change Australia's relationship with science, putting it at the very heart of our self-image and inspiring more Australians into STEM study and careers.

Be That Teacher Campaign

STA called for a national campaign to boost the status and respect for teaching as part of the initial teacher education review. Education Minister Jason Clare launched the Be That Teacher Campaign in October 2023.

A research commercialisation fund

STA made a powerful case for a new Research Commercialisation Fund to deliver strong returns on investment to the nation. In February 2022, the Government announced a $2.2 billion investment in a research commercialisation fund, venture capital and industry fellowships. STA also confirmed bipartisan support for the legislation. In March 2023, legislation passed to create Australia's Economic Accelerator.

Australia as a global STEM superpower

Science & Technology Australia’s June 2021 Policy Vision urged policymakers to set an ambitious target of making the country a global STEM superpower. This visionary ambition was endorsed in the election pledge made to STA’s membership by the Labor Party at the 2022 Federal Election shortly before it formed Government.

Grants on time to a fixed schedule

In December 2021, Science & Technology Australia called for all future Australian Research Council rounds to be delivered to a fixed timetable to avoid losing Australia’s science research workforce. In August 2022, Education Minister Jason Clare included fixed grants timetables delivered on schedule in his Statement of Expectations to the ARC.

Reversing the pre-prints ban

In 2021, STA worked behind the scenes with the leadership of the nation’s professional scientific societies and engaged with the Australian Research Council to reverse a new ARC rule to ban the citation of pre‑prints in grant applications. After consultation with the sector, the pre‑prints ban was successfully reversed in December 2021.

Voluntary IP templates

In October 2021, STA called for Intellectual Property templates for research commercialisation deals to be made voluntary – not mandatory. We advocated for the templates to have crucial flexibility, rather than a rigid one‑size‑fits‑all obligation. In September 2022, the Australian Government issued the new templates for voluntary use.

Extending the Patent Box

In a pre-Budget Submission in January 2022, Science & Technology Australia called for the Government’s proposed Patent Box scheme to be extended to include clean energy technologies. The extension of the new Patent Box tax break for Australian companies to manufacture clean energy technologies onshore was confirmed in the March 2022 Budget.