The National Research Flagships program is building partnerships in Australia and overseas.
About National Research Flagships
The National Research Flagships Program is delivering scientific solutions to advance Australia’s most pressing national objectives.
7 August 2007 | Updated 20 September 2012
More than ever before in our history, Australia faces major challenges and opportunities in critical areas of human, environmental and economic significance.
National Research Flagships are large-scale multidisciplinary research partnerships that harness world-class expertise to tackle these national priorities.
Initiated by CSIRO in 2003, the National Research Flagships program is one of the largest scientific research endeavours ever undertaken in Australia, with the total investment to 2010-11 expected to be close to A$1.5 billion.
In June 2006, former Australian Chief Scientist, Professor Robin Batterham, chaired the Review of CSIRO’s National Research Flagships Initiative.
The review panel concluded:
'Flagships offer the most promising mechanisms yet to drive large-scale activity addressing Australia’s National Research Priorities in a collaborative, cooperative and intensively managed manner.'
The Australian Federal Government’s 2007-08 Budget announced additional funding of A$174 million over four years following its contribution of A$305 million in 2004-05 as part of its Backing Australia’s Ability initiative. This will bring its investment in Flagships to A$480 million by 2011.
Increased funding in 2007-08 supported the creation of three new Flagships targeting:
"Flagships offer the most promising mechanisms yet to drive large-scale activity addresing Australia's National Research Priorities in a collaborative cooperative and intensively managed manner."
Flagship Review Panel
It also boosted research into clean transport fuels.
In 2009 CSIRO created a tenth Flagship in Sustainable Agriculture.
Partnerships in action
Collaboration is critical to Flagships.
Effective solutions to complex national issues call for innovative teams that bring together the best and the brightest from across the Australian and, potentially, the international research community.
The A$97 million Flagship Collaboration Fund, which was part of the original 2004-05 allocation from Government, provides an effective mechanism for attracting research and delivery expertise from universities and other publicly-funded research agencies.
An additional A$17.5 million was earmarked for the Fund as part of the 2007-08 budget decision.
Already, more than 250 external partners are involved in the Flagship initiative, with 239 individual collaborative agreements signed during 2005–06.
Industry partnerships provide powerful pathways for Flagship research to be taken up and successfully applied to deliver practical economic, environmental and social benefits.
Our Flagship partners include leading government agencies and many of the largest and most innovative companies – leaders in sectors as diverse as:
Flagships are focused on impact and adoption. They are committed to delivering research solutions that target clearly defined goals.
Flagship objectives have been framed by a compelling understanding of the needs of research users, customers and the community.
A rigorous program performance framework is used to assess program objectives, scientific outputs, delivery/technology transfer milestones, and use of resources.
In addition to the Review of CSIRO’s National Research Flagships Initiative, CSIRO commissioned an independent analysis of the impact of Flagship from economic assessment company ACIL Tasman.
This study indicated that even looking at a small sample of the activity across the gamut of Flagship research areas, the options and outcomes created represent a very substantial return on investment.
Learn more about the National Research Flagships.