Science contributes $330 billion a year to the Australian economy, according to a report by the Australian Academy of Science.
As AAP reports, this figure represents about a quarter of the national economy.
Launching the report today, outgoing Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb said that the full contribution of science is hard to measure and go beyond purely monetary benefits.
"But of course we have to investigate them, in economic as well as human terms, because we cannot afford to ever take them for granted," Professor Chubb said in a statement.
"We have, for the first time, a credible estimate of a phenomenon that defines our lives and underpins our prospects for growth.
"I trust it will inform our discussions about the actions we take to maximise the benefits of science for Australians."
Today marks the last day of Professor Chubb’s term as Chief Scientist. The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne praised him for his work during this time.
“Professor Chubb has made a remarkable contribution to science in this country and I commend his vision, leadership and insight,” Pyne said in a statement.
“I thank him for his important contribution to a whole-of-government, strategic approach to science in Australia.”
Professor Chubb will be replaced as Chief Scientist by Dr Alan Finkel AO, a renowned engineer, neuroscientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
“Science, innovation and commercialisation are at the heart of the Government’s agenda and I am delighted we have a person of the calibre of Dr Finkel to lead the national conversation on the importance of science, innovation and turning great Australian ideas into great Australian products,” Pyne commented.