National Science Exchange Conference

The Department of Agriculture’s annual National Science Exchange conference is hosted by the department’s Chief Scientist, Dr Kim Ritman.

The conference is a key action of the department’s science strategy ‘to have a connected departmental science community that efficiently and effectively underpins our department and is held in high esteem both within our department and by all our stakeholders’.

The conference helps to build and maintain our science capability through sharing and exchanging knowledge and innovation, networking, and enhancing collaboration between departmental scientists and its stakeholders.

Conference themes vary from year to year with a common thread of innovation, collaboration and partnership in science.

2019 – Innovation through collaboration

The theme of 2019 conference was Innovation through collaboration, reflected our department’s vision for a collaborative approach to science to enable innovation in agriculture.

The conference was an important platform for sharing research, exploring innovative ideas and building collaborative relationships across the department and with our external stakeholders including research organisations and other government departments.

2018 – Innovation in communicating our science

The theme, innovation in communicating our science, reflected the department’s vision for an innovative and collaborative approach to science communication across four themes:

  • Making our data and analysis accessible
  • Building collaborations that meet policy needs
  • Translating science for policy decision making
  • Harnessing citizen science – science addressing public issues.

2017 – Developing northern Australia – bridging the data divides

The theme, Developing Northern Australia – Bridging the Data Divides reflects the department’s vision for the agricultural sector in Northern Australia underpinned by unprecedented advances and changes in data and information technology and covered the following themes:

  • What we know about northern Australia
  • Community engagement and citizen science
  • Building data capability
  • Improving surveillance outcomes through improved data collection and innovation.

The Department of Agriculture is privileged to partner with traditional owners and elders across northern Australia to help protect and preserve the northern coastline as an important biosecurity ‘buffer’ for plant and animal pests and diseases.

2016 – Innovation and our science

The theme, innovation and our science, focused on our capabilities within the department and our work with external agencies to deliver outcomes for our stakeholders. The conference showcased best-practice science being used to drive evidence-based policy making that is responsive to current issues and new approaches to ensure continued innovation into the future. Areas of focus were:

  • The role of the department in natural resource management
  • Beyond agriculture: the broader role of the department in environmental management
  • Snapshots of scientific innovation
  • The future of agriculture and the department’s use of open and big data
  • Innovation in communication of science.

2015 – Showcasing our science and building networks

The inaugural science exchange conference enabled departmental staff to exchange scientific knowledge and build stronger networks internally, allowing us to maintain and improve the high quality of our scientific work. The conference gave an opportunity for increased dialogue with external science stakeholders – both to showcase the quality of our science to an external audience and to seek their input. This contributed to strengthening current and generating new collaborative partnerships targeted at the highest priority issues.

Topics highlighted:

  • Science in policy making, operations, addressing public issues
  • Leadership in science
  • Better cooperation across the department
  • Partnerships in science and policy.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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