Australia has traditionally been the home of inventors and scientists right from its early settlement. As a far colony, this was partly out of necessity because in our early days, Australians were a long way from the rest of the world and they had to rely on what could be produced locally. However, it is also true that Australian education system, and especially Australian universities, is responsible for developing a culture of innovation and discovery.
Australian culture of innovation aims to:
• make the best use of national and international information networks,
• encourage creativity in all forms of research,
• promote collaboration between university researchers and industry,
• disseminate the outcomes of research to the wider community.
Australian scientists and researchers have been responsible for many advances in business and industry, and have made significant contributions in medical science. Their investigations over the years have had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary people around the world.
Australian population is only 20 million but Australians have already won many prestigious international awards including eight Nobel Prizes which are:
• 2005 – Medicine
• 1996 – Medicine
• 1975 – Chemistry
• 1973 – Literature
• 1963 – Medicine
• 1960 – Medicine
• 1945 – Medicine
15 – Physics
Australians are acknowledged as being dynamic and innovative. Australia has been a pioneer in solar energy research and Australian scientists are investigating other potential energy sources.
Australian advances in technology include the development of an internationally accepted aircraft landing system, the black box flight recorder, bionic ear implants, a heart pacemaker, the vaccine for cancer of the cervix, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea treatment and computer hardware and software.
Australia is also at the forefront of producing new technologies such as wave-piercing ocean catamarans, solar-powered cars and the revolutionary orbital engine.
Innovations in science and technology are strong drivers of economic growth. Australia is both
well-positioned and well-resourced to make a difference in the global innovation race.
Some other significant Australian inventions in recent years include:
• Penicillin – (Howard Walter Florey).
• Ultrasound scanners – (Sonography)
• Radio telescopes.
• Photovoltaic cells (Solar cells).
• The Boomerang.
• The Xerox photocopying process.
• The Electric Drill.
• Postage stamps.
• Regular “around the world” airline services.
• The inflatable aircraft escape slide.
• The automatic letter-sorting machine.
• The two stroke lawn mower.
• The rotary hoist washing line.
• Lithium as a treatment for manic depression.
• Latex gloves.
• Flexible wine casks – (Box wine).
International Education Agency-AUSTRALIA