Australia’s History

AIX will build on Australia’s long and successful history of realised and commercialised innovation 

Ingenuity Timeline

Here are just some of the Australian innovations that demonstrate our national potential. The goal of AIX is to see more onshore development – expanding Australia’s role beyond the inventor, to export more of our local innovation as products and services, to serve global markets, from within our national economy. Here are some of our nations ‘greatest hits’:

  • 1970s

    The Bionic Ear

    In the 1970’s Professor Graeme Clarke invested the first bionic ear at Melbourne University. The Cochlear Impant electronically stimulates the auditory nerve, bringing hearing to hundreds and thousands of people around the world.

    Cohclear is the global leader in hearing implant solutions, an Australian success story with over 4000 employees worldwide.

  • 1980s

    Polymer Banknotes

    A combined effort between the Reserve Bank of Australia and CSIRO, the first plastic bank note was put into circulation in 1988 to celebrate Australia’s bicentenary. Australia was the first country to have a complete set of plastic currency by 1996. These polymer banknotes, which include a range security measures, are almost impossible to counterfeit, and last about ten times longer than paper.

  • 1990s

    Wi-Fi Technology

    Wi-Fi technology is used by more than a billion people around the world today. The base technology originated from research in the mid-1970s in the field of radio astronomy, when John O’Sullivan and his colleagues at the CSIRO were originally looking for the faint echoes of black holes. Wi-Fi is a great example of Australian innovation that was commercialised overseas, with secondary licencing benefits just a small return for a revolutionary invention.