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Karen Hussey, Christopher McEwan and Julia Playford

This chapter discusses the innovation, science and research (ISR) landscape in Australia. Specifically, it examines the key components of the Australian ISR landscape, the funding mechanisms in use, and the focus of the funding provided across the ISR landscape. It highlights the strengths of that landscape, but also the institutional and policy failings that are presently undermining the effectiveness of Australian science policy. The chapter approaches the relationship between science/innovation and economic prosperity as one of mutual reinforcement, and it relates this to past and current Australian policy. Overall, the chapter argues that the Australian ISR landscape is distinctive internationally and is presently not making best use of its available resources. It concludes by critiquing the linear thinking which drives a focus on applied research, and particularly health and medical research, at the expense of wider views of what research may contribute to human and societal well-being.