TIAC research projects

TIAC have undertaken a range of projects to ascertain and develop recommendations on strategic industry, science and technology matters to strengthen the WA Government’s knowledge in these areas.

Optimisation of STEM Support in Western Australian Schools; Innovation in the Regions; Opportunities for SME's in the Resource SectorFeasibility study into the establishment of research facilities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia; Economic Growth through Innovation; Stakeholder consultation forums.

Research Project: Optimisation of STEM education support in Western Australian Schools

TIAC recognises that the State's capacity to achieve excellence in science and innovation depends heavily on the outcomes from education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Enhancing STEM education in Western Australia requires a collaborative effort between academia, industry, government and other end-users.

This project steered by the Science Education Committee, builds on previous work and will provide increased understanding of STEM education needs and identify opportunities and mechanisms to enhance and optimise formal and external STEM education support. This research will assist TIAC in developing recommendations for the State Government for strategies to strengthen STEM education in schools, which is critical to help foster an innovative society and develop a skilled and adaptable workforce to support the State's needs.

The research project is being undertaken by Professor Mark Hackling, Edith Cowan University and is being overseen by the Science Education Committee. Further information can be found in the project’s terms of reference.

TIAC recently held a breakfast event support the consultation phase of the research project.


If your organisation is an employer of STEM graduates or STEM-skilled individuals please support this project by completing a short questionnaire. This will help understand your organisatiions STEM needs, any external STEM educational initiatives you are delivering or supporting or if you are interested in getting involved.

Research Project: Innovations in the Regions

TIAC recognises that innovation is a key driver of economic development. TIAC is undertaking a research project to gain increased understanding of the factors that underpin successful innovation in regional areas of Western Australia.  The project will identify examples of successful regional innovation and explore the factors that contribute to, or impede, success. This research will assist TIAC in developing recommendations for new State Government strategies to stimulate innovation in regional Western Australia and add value to the State.

The research project is being undertaken by Dr Richard Ball, Keston Technologies, and is being overseen by a TIAC steering group.  The work is being undertaken in conjunction with the Regional Development Council and the nine Regional Development Commissions. 

Research project: Opportunities for SME's in the Resource Sector

In 2010 the output of the mining and energy sectors was valued at $92.5 billion (one third of the State's Gross State Product). Based on figures complied by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, existing, planned and possible investment in construction projects in these sectors is about $300 billion. This activity is creating a marketplace that can enable existing Small to Medium Enterprises (SME's) to grow and new SME's to emerge.

TIAC members will produce a report providing recommendations for new State Government strategies to enable SME's to provide a competitive level of goods and services to the mining and energy sectors, and develop products to increase the level of innovation in those industries.

A TIAC steering group has been formed and Dr Martin West of AECOM has been appointed as the consultant for the project.

Research project: Feasibility study into the establishment of research facilities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

In June 2011 the Premier announced a $63 million package to support the State Government’s Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy. Massive changes are underway in the Kimberley, creating a need for scientific research to inform decision–makers and stakeholders within government and cultural and commercial interests.

Given this current situation, TIAC agreed that there is merit in exploring whether existing and future research in the Kimberley would benefit from the establishment of new research facilities in the region, and if so, what form any new facilities would take. TIAC is conducting a feasibility study into the facilities required to build the capacity to conduct collaborative, multi-disciplinary research, focused on tropical science, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The study is not be limited to purpose built infrastructure and will examine the means to build collaboration through existing facilities including methodologies for data integration.

A TIAC steering group has been formed and a contract has been awarded to a group including Professor Peter Davies from the University of Western Australia. 

Research Project: Economic Growth through Innovation – the Crucial Role that can be played by Government Engaging with Industry and Research Institutions.

Western Australia has a number of unique advantages, challenges and opportunities. The economy is heavily dependent on Western Australia’s traditional strengths of mining energy production and agriculture and this will remain for the foreseeable future. The opportunity exists to initiate focused policy, programs and investment to sustain and broaden the economic benefits of Western Australia’s traditional industries. At the same time there is a need to diversify the State’s economy by developing existing and emerging Western Australian capabilities that have the potential to add value, create a comparative advantage for Western Australia and sustain the State beyond the current resource activity. 

The Council is looking to collect evidence that demonstrates the impact that science, technology and innovation can play in diversifying and broadening Western Australia’s economic development. The evidence will form the basis of a compelling case for the State Government to directly invest in and develop policies to support the growth of innovation, science and technology in Western Australia.

The Economic Growth through Innovation Committee has been established to oversee the study and the process to select a suitable consultant is progressing. 

Stakeholder consultation forums

In 2011 TIAC held stakeholder forums in four of the key sectors of:

  • Minerals (including minerals technologies)
  • Gas (including petroleum technologies)
  • Environment
  • Medical (including preventative health)

Conducting the stakeholder forums was a key recommendation of the report From Strength to Strength- An innovation plan for driving Western Australia’s future prosperity.

Through these forums TIAC was able to increase their understanding of the issues in each of the sectors and stakeholder views and opinions as well as gain an improved understanding of the role that the State Government could have in stimulating activity in these areas and how this could be achieved.

The stakeholder consultation forums are now complete. TIAC would like to thank all the participants for their contributions. The information collected will continue to inform the work of the Council.

Page last updated at: 11:34 AM 08-Sep-2016