Australia officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighbouring countries include Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.
The geography of Australia encompasses a wide variety of biogeographic regions being the world's smallest continent but the sixth-largest country in the world. The population of Australia is concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts. The geography of the country is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania to large deserts, tropical and temperate forests.
The economy of Australia is one of the largest mixed market economies in the world, with a GDP of AUD$1.62 trillion as of 2015. Australia's total wealth is AUD$6.4 trillion. In 2012, it was the 12th largest national economy by nominal GDP and the 17th-largest measured by PPP-adjusted GDP, about 1.7% of the world economy. Australia is the 19th-largest importer and 19th-largest exporter. The Reserve Bank of Australia publishes quarterly forecasts of the economy.
Australia places great emphasis on globally networked engineering research cooperation. Many organisations support international researchers and academics: Today more than 32,000 are being supported with scholarships. Besides this, research funding in Australia has the goal of financing the development of new ideas and technologies. The range covers everything from basic research in natural sciences, new technologies to structural research funding at institutions of higher education.