Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Research and Education – Exploring Opportunities to Layer and Diversify the Indian Ocean Territories Economy

The Australian Government is currently engaging scientific organisations and universities to discuss opportunities to expand national and international research - capitalising on the region’s unique natural marine and terrestrial environment and unique ecosystems, species and conservation value, while also helping to drive the local economy forward.

Christmas Island attracts bird watchers and nature lovers from all over the world. It is home to one of Australia’s most unique national parks which provides habitat for endangered, vulnerable, threatened and migratory species. Christmas Island has more than 250 endemic species, complex and unique ecological systems and a rich and diverse marine ecosystem found nowhere else on earth.

This gives Christmas Island, and the neighbouring region, a unique and logical natural competitive advantage in research and education opportunities, as part of a broader economic strategy.

A Research Prospectus PDF: 480 KB has been developed by scientific experts to identify key research opportunities. While the scope a research opportunities is not limited, research areas of focus identified include:

  • The natural environment – Natural Terrestrial and Marine Sciences
  • Biosecurity
  • Waste, Sustainability and the Circular Economy
  • Climate Change
  • Agriculture, Aquiculture and Food
  • Health and Medicine, and
  • Social sciences

A Research Roundtable, comprising representatives from across the scientific, research and education sector, was initially convened in 2019, and will hold its second meeting soon, to explore models to best support a sustainable and vibrant research sector on Christmas Island.

The Australian Government is currently seeking submissions from scientific organisations, universities and other bodies from the research and education sector with an interest in undertaking research and education in the Indian Ocean Territories. If this is you, please contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications at: Indianoceanterritories@infrastructure.gov.au by Friday, 15 October 2021. Please briefly outline the nature of any relevant research work your organisation is planning to conduct over the coming two to 10 years and/or your organisation’s interest in conducting or delivering research and education in the Indian Ocean Territories. This information will inform planning going forward.