Research innovation

Macquarie has a strong record of innovation with our researchers responsible for revolutionary discoveries that have changed the world

Future research priorities

Our researchers are dedicated to finding real and practical solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. We’re determined that our proud tradition of research with world-changing impact will continue well into the future.

As we move into the next phase of research and innovation, the University will apply itself to being the hub of expertise in five key areas. By focusing on our future-shaping research priorities – Healthy people, Resilient societies, Prosperous economies, Secure planet and Innovative technologies – the University will retain a prominent and sustainable place within the Australian research landscape.

A number of Macquarie’s current research projects align with these five priorities and will, within the next 10 years, change the world on a number of fronts. Find out more.

Groundbreaking discoveries

Our pioneering culture has encouraged and inspired students, staff and collaborators to break free from conventional thinking,  and to actively shape the complex issues that define the future of humanity. Now you’ve heard about our plans for the future, discover just a few of the amazing breakthroughs and innovations made by our researchers so far:

Celebrating 50 years of research

50 Years Handbook

50 years: World-leading research, world-changing impact features unique discoveries and innovations made by Macquarie researchers.


Download the publication to find out more about our groundbreaking research and to see how our research impacts society at the domestic and international levels.

  • Where wi-fi began

    These days we take wi-fi for granted, but 20 years ago Macquarie University was working at the forefront of wireless technologies and, in collaboration with the CSIRO, developed the broadband wi-fi that we know today.

  • Young people, sex, love and the media

    For the past ten-years, we have worked with Australia’s NRL (National Rugby League) , to developing ethics-based education programs to counter antisocial and violent behaviour off the field. We have also undertaken extensive research, including for Google Australia, work on the cultural and social impacts of social and online media,...

  • Bug detectives

    Macquarie’s culture of collaboration leads to groundbreaking technological advances in testing for waterborne parasites giardia and cryptosporidium. These advances have since been rolled out on a global scale and are keeping drinking water safe for hundreds of millions of people daily.

  • Special education

    The Macquarie University Special Education Centre developed the world’s first special education model for children and their families, and demonstrated to the world that no child is ineducable, no matter how delayed they are. The Macquarie program has been rolled out internationally with significant, long-lasting impacts.

  • Leading the fight against multiple sclerosis

    A team of researchers have discovered the first biomarker – a chemical identified in the blood – enabling a simple blood test to rapidly and accurately determine, with 85 to 95 per cent accuracy, which type of multiple sclerosis a patient has.

  • Economics with impact

    Researchers set out to build bridges between economic theory and art and culture. To survive and thrive in society, artists and art organisations must acknowledge the larger economic dimensions in which they exist. The larger economic benefits of art and culture can and should be taken into account in society.

  • Fighting anxiety and depression

    Macquarie researchers have developed online treatments for mental health conditions that are providing cost-effective access to advice and support for people living in remote parts of Australia.

  • Flamin’ brilliant

    Macquarie developed the trailblazing technology that allowed the relay Olympic torches from the Sydney Olympic Games and the Athens Olympic Games to burn brightly from Greece to Asia, along the Great Wall of China and eventually to Australia.

  • The game changers

    Since it was founded in 1972, Macquarie Law School has helped to shape anti-terrorism laws, freedom of information laws, consumer laws, classifications schemes, and electoral funding expenditure and disclosures. By forensically investigating the origins of law and policy, Macquarie researchers are informing law reform to better serve the Australian community.

  • Protecting artists’ copyrights

    The House of Aboriginality developed by Professor Vivien Johnson and her students at Macquarie, played a key role in helping the wider community to understand the rights of Aboriginal artists under Australian law. The course was the first in Australia to identify and investigate copyright infringements involving Aboriginal art.

  • Cools kids

    Anxiety disorders affect more than three million Australians – from young children to adults – every year. The Cool Kids program was developed to give kids the coping skills to better manage their anxiety.

  • Nanophotonics for health and security

    A new discovery of time-dimension nanophotonics has opened the way to untapped potential in non-invasive cancer diagnosis, rapid pathogen detection and invisible coding for identification of authentic pharmaceuticals, passports and banknotes.

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