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The knowledge state - attracting students and commercialising our research

The knowledge state

Knowledge is our future

The smartest thing we can do is to attract a diverse student body and commercialise our research.

Our future relies on sustaining a rich pool of talented students from Australia and all over the world, excelling in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths studies.

South Australia will build a reputation as a state of knowledge creation and innovation -particularly in our areas of excellence such as mining, resources, and defence - via collaboration and co-investment between global and local industry and our research institutions.

Combine South Australia’s capacity for knowledge sharing and collaboration with the best infrastructure, facilities and research centres, and we’ll be on our way to successful commercialisation of research that will see us excel as ‘the knowledge state’.

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We are focused on Adelaide becoming one of the world’s ‘smart digital cities’.

To help us thrive as ‘the knowledge state’, South Australia’s companies must diversify as they compete in a rapidly changing and increasingly global marketplace. We have a head start with our universities and research institutes providing an ongoing source of talent, ideas and expertise to support and sustain our businesses.

With our goal to grow jobs and diversify South Australia’s economy, a key part of our success will be improving support for applied research and innovation. – via a clever entrepreneurial ecosystem that connects knowledge and research to commercial opportunities.

Better collaboration between industry, our universities and research institutes will go hand-in-hand with an increased investment in research infrastructure. We will encourage our research precincts to focus on applied research and commercialisation, and we’ll be working hard to attract international expertise.

Our aim is to establish an international reputation for the quality of our educational institutions. This will be achieved by increasing the number of local and international students in our schools, training institutions and universities – particularly those studying science, technology, engineering and maths. Another important goal is to develop a knowledge-based state that is known as one of the world’s ‘smart digital cities’ through partnerships with global technology companies.

Adelaide already has some of the world’s best universities. Our three long-established and well regarded public universities are complemented by some of the best private universities from around the world.

International education is South Australia’s largest service export, generating around $972 million in income for our state each year. More than 30,000 international students successfully live, work and spend money in South Australia, attract visitors from overseas, and build our international connections and engagement.

Actioning a smart future

Objectives for 2017

  • Ensure our businesses lead the nation in bringing new products and services to market, that result from collaboration with our publicly funded research sector.
  • Increase cumulative industry funding to our publicly funded research sector from $270 million in 2012 to $570 million by 2017.
  • Increase the number of international students studying in South Australia from 28,300 in 2013 (baseline) to 35,500 in 2017 [updated].
  • Establish an accommodation offer guarantee to new international students studying at our public universities.
  • Increase the number of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students commencing undergraduate and postgraduate studies each year from 11,200 in 2013 (baseline) to 13,100 by 2017.

Progress against objectives

Taking the initiative

  • Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) – will allow our health and medical research institutions to access expertise and venture capital finance. The first South Australian research member is SAHMRI.
  • Formal collaboration between the University Technology Transfer Offices, including developing a single point of access, to improve business-research linkages and showcase our Universities’ research capabilities.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Hub, where everyday things such as household appliances, watches, cars and street lighting are linked and optimised through internet-enabled data exchange.
  • High Value Food Manufacturing Centre – increasing food manufacturing industry investment in science and research, and collaboration with our local research sector.

Make it a priority to get involved

Study Adelaide

Investing in Science
See the Investing in Science action plan for prosperity through science, research and innovation.

Find out how TechinSA can assist your technology business, or provide investment opportunities in high-tech industries.

Our Jobs Plan
Learn about Our Jobs Plan - the strategy to support displaced automotive workers and communities affected by the closure of GM Holden, and help our manufacturing sector diversify into new products and markets.

Commercialisation of research
Find out more about investing in technologies, leveraging government grants, and research partnering through the commercialisation arms of our universities


Adelaide Research & Innovation (University of Adelaide)

Flinders Partners (Flinders University)

French language and cultural exchange prospers in SA

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The results are in

A second year review of progress against the State’s Economic Plan reveals that 10 of 73 objectives under the ten economic priorities have been reached well before the December 2017 deadline.

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More than $38m in STEM upgrades for 10 SA schools

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New portal connects local employers with international student graduates

South Australian employers are experiencing the benefits of hiring international student graduates and interns through StudyAdelaide’s Employer Program.

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