Established connections

The Queensland Government is forging strong ties with the federal union of the Republic of India—as are many Queensland’s universities. These connections build on our shared priorities and pave the way for new collaborations and potential commercialisations. We are open to developing more opportunities.

As part of the AUD$150 million Queensland Government’s 2022–2032 Trade and Investment Strategy, Study Queensland has appointed Directors of Research of Partnerships in four key international markets, including a Trade and Investment Queensland - Investment Director - South Asia who is based in Bengaluru. Their role includes attracting research investment to Queensland science and identifying new research collaborations.

With a growing economy and excellent quality of life, Queensland is a choice many immigrants and Australians are making to put down roots. Due to the Queensland Government’s successful handling of the Covid- 19 pandemic, Queensland has seen the highest interstate migration in the last 20 years. Brisbane (the capital city of Queensland) being the host city for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympic Games, has provided a catalyst leading to various developmental projects and business opportunities in many industries. Furthermore, Queensland has closer ties with India than other Australian states, contributing 60.7 percent to national export value in 2021. These factors and proactive support by Migration Queensland make us the ideal choice for Indian investors and innovators.

Mr. Abhinav Bhatia, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner – South Asia, Trade & Investment Queensland

Over the past 10 years (2013–2022), more than 3,000 India–Queensland joint research publications have been produced—an increase of more than 50% from the previous period. These publications have attracted more than 130,000 citations. Most of the India–Queensland collaborative research was in the following areas: biomedical and clinical services (38%); biological sciences (25%); engineering (22%); and agricultural, veterinary and food sciences (15%).

The top Queensland collaborators with Indian research partners were The University of Queensland (UQ), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University. Recent/current Queensland–India research collaborations include:

  • UQ collaborated with a range of Indian organisations, including the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, with whom UQ shares a joint PhD program. In recent years, UQ has collaborated with six Indian institutions on seven research projects. Key Indian partners include the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Jamia Millia Islamia University, and Symbiosis International Deemed University.
  • UQ has partnered with Indian-based researchers on 950 co-publications in the past five years. The top research areas include Astronomy & Astrophysics, Plant Sciences, and Agronomy.
  • QUT is one of the partners in the Australia India Water Centre, a consortium of Australian and Indian universities, research institutions and water businesses that promote cooperation and collaboration in water research, education, training and capacity building.
  • QUT and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras recently collaborated on developing a new class of intelligent robotic imaging system for keyhole surgeries.
  • The University of Southern Queensland and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University collaborate on enhancing climate change adaptation processes for farmers and agribusiness.
  • Griffith University has formal partnerships with several Indian universities, including the Indian Institute of Science, the ATLAS SkillTech University and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

The Queensland-based Institute for Australia India Engagement works to strengthen Australia–India strategic partnerships through evidence-based research, exchange of new knowledge, targeted policy dialogues and innovative business solutions for the government, corporate and community stakeholders. The institute is comprised of academic experts, research analysts, policy-practitioners, corporate professionals, and sports leaders in Australia and India.

Australian–India agreements and support

Strategic and economic ties between India and Australia have developed dramatically in recent years. The Australia–India relationship was first upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership 2020 and the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) was enacted in December 2022. This agreement will deepen our economic ties and provide further opportunities for Australian and Indian businesses. Several specific measures were agreed to, including tariffs that have been eliminated on 85% of Australian goods exports by value to India  , providing new opportunities for Queensland exporters in a wide variety of industries.

Australia–India Strategic Research Fund

The Australia–India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) is Australia's largest fund dedicated to bilateral science collaboration. AISRF, jointly administered and funded by the governments of Australia and India, helps researchers from both nations in the public and private sectors to participate in leading-edge scientific research projects and workshops.

Since its start in 2006, the Australian Government provided AUD$80 million, which was matched by the Indian Government, and has been used to support more than 300 collaborative research projects, fellowships and workshops.

The priority areas for Australia–India Strategic Research Fund Round 15 were:

Indo–Australian Science and Technology Fund:

  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • new and renewable energy technologies (particularly ultra-low-cost solar and clean hydrogen)
  • urban mining and electronic waste recycling.

Indo-Australian Biotechnology Fund:

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • RNA vaccines and therapies.

Australia–India Council and Centre for Australia–India Relations

The Australia–India Council (AIC) was established by the Australian Government in 1992 to advance Australia's foreign and trade policy interests by building awareness and understanding between the peoples and institutions of Australia and India.

The Queensland member of the AIC Board is the former Australian cricket player Matthew Hayden AM. The annual Australia–India Council Grants Program has funded joint research projects since 2014.

The Australian Government is establishing a Centre for Australia–India Relations (opening in 2023). The centre will administer over AUD$20 million in Maitri (friendship) initiatives, including a scholars program, a grants and fellowship program and a cultural partnership. The Maitri Scholars Program will attract and support high-achieving Indian students to study at Australian universities, while the Maitri Grants and Fellowships Program will build links between our future leaders, supporting mid-career Australian and Indian professionals to collaborate on strategic research and shared priorities. The Maitri Cultural Partnership will boost the role of creative industries in our economic and people-to-people ties.

Defence and security

India and Australia signed a pact on reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support in 2020. The Australia India Defence Relationship now includes almost every major function of the military: strategic dialogues, coordination, and information exchanges; military exercises involving ground, air and maritime forces; exchanges and training; and defence scientific and technological cooperation—all of which reflect our growing interoperability and strategic partnership.

Australia and India are also partners in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), along with Japan and the United States. The partners of the Quad diplomatic network are committed to supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient. The dialogue responds to the region’s most pressing challenges, including COVID-19 vaccines, climate change, infrastructure, critical and emerging technology, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, space, maritime security, countering disinformation, and counterterrorism.

Other program and relationships

In 2006, the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India introduced an annual Scholarship  Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) for the children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)/ children of Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), to assist them in pursuing under-graduate courses in Indian Universities/Institutes and promote India as a centre of higher studies.

Australia’s export agency, Austrade, provides the Australia India Business Exchange to grow the two-way commercial relationship between Australia and India.

Conceived as a joint effort by India and France, Australia is a full member of the International Solar Alliance, hosted by India, and committed to making solar energy available at all times, and at an affordable cost, to its member countries.