A fundamental shift in Australia's sporting landscape will give the AIS a new sense of purpose as officials look to bolster the nation's search for gold.
Uncertainty swirls around the future of the AIS' Bruce campus but director Peter Conde says a new national high performance sports strategy can revive its impact on a global scale.
Sporting institutes and academies around the country have joined forces to deliver a strategy intent on improving results at the Olympic Games, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games.
Conde says the strategy will unify the each state and territory's leading sport organisations for the first time in a bid to secure success on the world stage.
Australia's results at the Olympics have dwindled in recent years. A return of 58 medals at the Sydney Games have been followed by totals of 50 in Athens, 46 in Beijing, 35 in London and 29 in Rio.
It has been a similar story in the Paralympics, with 81 medals in Rio down on 85 in London, 79 in Beijing, 101 in Athens and 149 in Sydney.
The Commonwealth Games' return to Australian soil brought with it 198 medals, well up on 137 in Glasgow and 179 in Delhi.
Now Conde wants to replicate that success across the board and hopes bringing all states and territories together can deliver Australia back to the halcyon days.
"Absolutely, and [we need to be] getting the very best value for the investment in our sporting success and investment in inspiring the next generation to become active and involved in organised sport," Conde said.
"Fundamentally it's about changing the way institutes around Australia work.
"In every state and territory there is an institute or an academy of sport, and historically, all of those entities have worked pretty independently at every level.
"This document really for the first time ever gives effect to a unified strategy that identifies the principles in which we will operate as a national institute network and the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties in relation to that."
This document, for the first time ever, gives effect to a unified strategy.Peter Conde
The strategy forms part of the federal government's Sport 2030 plan which has seen federal funding for Australia's high performance sports and athletes increase to $158.9 million in 2019-20.
Sports will be responsible for developing their own high performance plans in collaboration with the AIS, which will in turn take charge of a resource and funding allocation process.
But some sports have shifted away from Canberra with the AIS being repackaged as a sports science hub rather than a destination for elite athletes and teams.
It has led to the prospect of the campus' 65-hectare site being split in half to sell land and spend $200 million on redeveloping a new, smaller campus.
"Specifically, the role of the AIS is distinct to the rest of the national institute network," Conde said.
"Institutes have a role to firstly lead and enable this united and collaborative approach across the system, and secondly to undertake the frontiers of sporting performance.
"It leads us to cooperate in pretty much everything we do, the way we invest and provide resources to sport, the way we develop people, contribute to athlete wellbeing and engagement, the way we approach technology in sport. Pretty much everything.
"The idea is we operate very much more as a system, all as united, with one direction. It's a much more efficient and effective approach to conduct ourselves in the sporting environment.
"It's a very different working relationship now compared to what it had been even 12 months ago."