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The business of chemistry is unique in combining the 92 elements of our natural world to invent new materials and products essential to our lives. The ability to precisely manufacture these products of chemistry at scale and quality, remains one of humanity’s fundamental enabling and adaptive capabilities.


CSIRO scientists working
on world-first technology
integrating printable solar cells
into roofing products

This century, innovation through chemistry will deliver advanced solar cell technology, energy storage batteries, energy efficient LEDs, desalination, cutting-edge medical devices and biodiagnostics.

Continued innovation in crop protection and fertilisers to increase yields and farm marginal land, will help deliver the estimated 70% increase in food production needed by 2050 for the world’s population. Food waste will be reduced by advanced polymers used in storage and packaging to reduce spoilage and extend shelf-life.

The Australian chemistry industry helps commercialise the new materials, products and valuable IP designed in our world-class research and university laboratories. These outputs with global application, are used to improve sustainability by reducing energy consumption, waste and cost across the economy and communities. They enable existing companies and new start-ups to create jobs, be more globally competitive and investment-ready.

The industry’s investment in Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD) is significant, spending $530M in 2011-12. Polymer product manufacturing at $138M and crop management manufacturing at $114Mm, were the two largest contributing groups.

This is an important contribution to Australia’s innovation economy, and the industry is taking a structured and co-ordinated approach to see this grow.  Keeping a clear line of sight between chemistry and end-use customers is critical for innovation to be commercially viable.

Chemistry Australia’s Innovation and Science Program encourages a stronger, more connected and efficient, innovation economy to drive commercial outcomes with positive economic, social and environmental impact. It focuses on:

  • Establishing and fostering partnerships and collaborations that enable organisations and people to combine their capability to deliver results
  • Providing access to new opportunities for the technology and talent needed for new ideas, materials and products
  • Advocating for the alignment of policies and programs that remove barriers to new technologies and promote collaboration
  • Communicating the value of investment in the business of chemistry for a diverse, complex and competitive Australian economy


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