Institute for Future

About the institute

Grand challenges, bold solutions

The IFE is a transdisciplinary research and innovation institute at QUT that brings together hundreds of researchers and students to collaborate on large-scale projects relating to our natural, built and digital environments.

Many of the world’s problems, and the solutions to them, lie at the intersections of these environments, which support our food, energy, infrastructure and communications systems. The IFE studies these environments and systems, and generates knowledge, technology and practices that make our world more sustainable, secure and resilient.

Catalyst for change

The IFE is a catalyst for:

  • Addressing global challenges that build a strong Australia, with a competitive economy
  • Delivering innovations through transdisciplinary collaboration
  • Nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of researchers
  • Inspiring a generation to recognise STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as being at the heart of the country’s competitiveness

The IFE addresses social and economic challenges in a range of key sectors, including agriculture, mining, environmental management, infrastructure, manufacturing, services and information communication and technology.

We collaborate with partners at every stage of the innovation process – from identifying problems and questions to developing new technologies, techniques and ideas through to final application and/or commercialisation.

Research that matters

We draw on the strengths of QUT’s faculties and schools, and the expertise of well-established research centres such as the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities. We respond to the challenges of industry, government and society by assembling transdisciplinary research teams, managing the research and innovation process and profiling the impact of our research.

The IFE’s research program comprises four research themes and three enabling platforms. Our research themes are linked to specific societal challenges and sectors of the economy:

Our enabling platforms are technologies, techniques and systems that can solve a wide range of problems for industry and society:

Our research themes and enabling platforms harness the disciplinary strengths of QUT’s faculties and schools, and are closely aligned with the Australian Government’s and Queensland Government’s Science and Research Priorities, which articulate the areas of greatest significance to the state and the nation.

Research infrastructure enabling discovery, deployment and demonstration

IFE has state-of-the-art research infrastructure capabilities and expertise in digital data and e-research; characterisation, analysis and ‘omics’; prototyping and fabrication; robotics and autonomous systems; and environmental systems and monitoring.

Our facilities play a vital role in supporting research on a scale beyond the reach of individual research groups or disciplines. The technical staff in our facilities work closely with researchers and clients to identify and implement the best solutions to their problems.

Our facilities include:

Our plans for changing the world - for real

Our strategy is founded on three Key Priorities:

  • Delivering transdisciplinary research and innovation
  • Developing state-of-the-art research infrastructure
  • Facilitating transdisciplinary research culture and sustainability.

Learn about IFE's Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 (PDF, 5MB)

View IFE’s Strategic Actions for 2017-2019 (PDF FIle, 45 KB)

Annual reports

QUT acknowledges the financial support of the Australian and Queensland Governments and Atlantic Philanthropies in the establishment of the Institute for Future Environments and the Science and Engineering Centre.


Institute for Future Environments

  • Phone: 3138 9500
  • Int. phone: +61 7 3138 9500
  • Fax: +61 7 3138 4438
  • Level 6, P Block
    Gardens Point
    2 George St
    Brisbane QLD 4000
  • Postal address:
    Institute for Future Environments
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001

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