Companies with a plan to innovate would be guaranteed a slice of a $72 billion pie over the next four years under a re-elected Labor government.

Industry Minister Kim Carr on Tuesday announced Labor's "innovation guarantee".

"If you have a plan to innovate, we will back you," Senator Carr said.

Labor's figures show the total government innovation, science, technology and research spend over the forward estimates will total $72 billion.

While the figure includes the budgets of agencies such as CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, new measures in the plan include a national innovation council and a $25 million program to help businesses bid for government tenders.

Senator Carr said the national innovation council would be a peak body to ensure science and research investment was paying off in terms of new jobs and technologies.

Each industry sector would also have their own innovation councils to work on long-term plans.

Labor has also announced $45 million for research into the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Senator Carr said universities were the engine room of innovation.

Foreign students taking up university courses would be able to access visas quicker and easier if they used properly accredited private agencies.

International education is seen as a major service industry of the future, but Australia's reputation has been damaged in recent years by scandal.

Labor would appoint an international education supplier advocate and undertake regular student surveys.