AIMS’ annual Portfolio Budget Statement provides the Parliament of Australia with information on how AIMS will use its allocated resources to achieve the government-mandated outcome over the current budget and forward years. AIMS is funded to deliver Outcome 1: Growth of knowledge to support protection and sustainable development of Australia’s marine resources through innovative marine science and technology.
Government funding for AIMS is delivered through Program 1: Marine Research. This program provides research services focused on supporting the sustainable development of Australia’s marine estate by industry, while ensuring the protection of high-value marine and coastal ecosystems through effective environmental management.
Through engagement with stakeholders, including Commonwealth and state governments, industry, Traditional Owners, science agencies and universities, AIMS has developed a comprehensive research program that continues to deliver world-leading science while ensuring that its multidisciplinary science capability, infrastructure and research investment remain focused on addressing national needs and aspirations.
The 2019-20 Portfolio Budget Statement Table 2.1.3 identifies how AIMS is working to deliver research outcomes by providing:
- comprehensive baseline, status and trends reporting systems for tropical marine ecosystems
- efficient, cost-effective delivery of information through the application of innovative autonomous and automated marine observing technologies and assessment methods
- recovery of key threatened and endangered marine species achieved through effective conservation and management of critical habitats and populations
- enhanced management of tropical marine ecosystems informed by regional models of environmental condition and function
- improved health of tropical marine ecosystems through the development of effective solutions for the management of local, regional and cumulative pressures
- improved forecasting ability of future coral reef status based on information on the scope and rates of recovery, acclimatisation and adaptation of coral reef taxa to climate change
- new tools for coral reef restoration that enhance resistance and resilience of key coral reef taxa to environmental change, particularly climate change
- enhanced understanding of tropical marine ecosystems among industry, government and the public delivered through improved data analysis workflows and knowledge delivery systems
- strengthened management and policies delivered through the development of structured decision support tools that link risk, monitoring, modelling and adaptive management.
The success of AIMS’ marine research program is assessed against a set of eight high level performance criteria:
- demonstrate the outcomes and impacts of AIMS’ work through case study impact narratives and evaluations
- deliver strategic and applied research and monitoring that addresses national research priorities and stakeholder needs
- maintain or increase current standings for scientific excellence, innovation and impact
- deliver research advice and scientific products that are critical for stakeholders to assess the impacts of natural and human pressures on sensitive marine ecosystems
- increase research capability, capacity, impact and science diplomacy through participation in formal national and international collaborations, joint ventures, partnerships and strategic alliances
- improve research outcomes and impact through increased Traditional Owner engagement in the planning and delivery of coastal research and development
- reduce AIMS’ environmental footprint
- make optimal use of research infrastructure assets.