During National Science Week we celebrate the importance of science, technology and innovation, and the meaningful role Australians have played improving these fields and the lives of millions across the globe.

Technology is advancing more rapidly than at any other time in history, providing humanity with new opportunities and new ways to solve old problems. That is why I established the innovationXchange (iXc) within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2015.

Today, to mark National Science Week, I joined leading innovators at the iXc to discuss ways we can harness advances in science, technology and innovation to drive socio-economic advances at home and abroad, and encourage more women into STEM fields of endeavour.

I shared the stage with some of Australia’s great female scientists - Professor Michelle Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year and Scientia Professor of Quantum Physics at UNSW; Professor Elanor Huntington, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University; Dr Dharmica Mistry, Co-founder and chief Scientist at BCAL Diagnostics and NSW Young Woman of the Year in 2016; and Dr Cathy Foley, Deputy and Science Director of CSIRO Manufacturing.

The iXc is enhancing the effectiveness and impact of Australian aid by harnessing new ideas and partnerships. Since its launch in 2015, it has supported 106 innovation-based projects in 32 countries across the Indo-Pacific.

For example, through its partnership with the World Mosquito Program the iXc is supporting world-leading trials in the control of the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue and zika, which can cause serious illness and death and pose a particular risk for children. If successful, this investment will have significant global implications.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555