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Research and innovation

The government is building on the north’s competitiveness by fostering innovation and research, and wants northern-based businesses and industries to be world leading and cutting edge.

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have committed $8 million to establish a new biosecurity hub in Darwin. It will be an effective early warning system against destructive pests and diseases and will ensure expert rapid diagnosis of exotic diseases that could cripple Australia’s agricultural industries.

Tropical health research

The government has supported tropical medicine research in the north and has committed an additional $20.3 million to the development of this sector.

As home to a number of internationally recognised tropical disease research hubs such as the Menzies School of Health Research and James Cook University, the north is already playing a leading role in this field.

The new funding has boosted tropical research capacity in the north, fostered commercialisation opportunities and strengthened links with international research partners through several cutting edge initiatives such as the HOT NORTH project led by the Menzies School of Health Research.

The Australian Tropical Medicine Commercialisation Grants program has provided support for the commercialisation of Australian tropical medicine research in partnership with international companies.

New government investment has helped build links between Australian and international research institutions and a Tropical Health Short Course program has provided education and training to Indonesian health professionals in areas such as malaria prevention and treatment, with courses run in 2016, 2017 and planned for 2018.

Read more about the Tropical Disease Collaborative Research Program on the National Health and Medical Research website.

Industry-led research

To help businesses generate new ideas and innovation that leverage the north’s strengths and address its challenges, the government has invested $75 million to establish the new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia.

The CRC brokers collaboration between industry and researchers to grow the north’s economy and trade and attract investment. It supports industry-led projects where the north has particular strengths, including agriculture, food, tropical health service delivery and Traditional Owner led business development.

The CRC’s $8 million 2017-18 funding call closes in October 2017.

An additional CRC for Developing Northern Australia project funding round is under consideration at the time of publication and will provide grants of up to $3 million over three years for collaborative research projects.

Read more about the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia on the centre’s website and the CRC project grants on business.gov.au.