This year marks the 31st anniversary of CSIRO's Awards Program. This program plays an important role in exhibiting and celebrating the achievements of CSIRO staff that are exemplary of our scientific impact, purpose, beliefs and strategic direction. The awards were awarded on 7 December 2016. Congratulations to all the winners.

As our most prestigious group of awards, the CSIRO Awards focus on honouring teams and individuals that have made significant impact on CSIRO's delivery of science to Australia. In particular, they recognise achievements of innovative solutions to industry, society and the environment.

Chairman's Medal

This award recognises teams who have made significant scientific or technological advances that create value for our customers through innovation that delivers positive impact for Australia.

Awarded to: Kebari™ Barley

For the development and commercialisation of Kebari™ Barley, the world's first and only gluten free barley. CSIRO acknowledges Grains Research Development Corporation as a distinguished partner for Kebari™ Barley. Learn more about Kebari™ Barley from this short animated video.




[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Wetting our whistle on the German beer market]


[Image shows the CSIRO logo on the screen and beer rising up from the base of the screen to the top]


Narrator: Who wouldn’t want to be part of a collaboration to produce world class German beer?


[Image appears of the Sea of Galilee and text appears: Sea of Galilee, 23,000 years ago]


We certainly did and here is how it all began. 


[Images appear of a woman pounding grain]


Twenty-three thousand years ago by the Sea of Galilee people of the Kebarin culture left remnants of their lifestyle for archaeologists to discover including the humble barley grain.


[Image fades and the image of the Sea of Galilee appears again and then the camera zooms up towards the sun and then the image changes to show a microscope and the camera zooms out to show a female looking through the microscope and text appears: CSIRO Canberra Present Day]


Now fast forward to our modern day laboratories where we continue to revolutionise the advancement of grain. 


[Image changes to show a scientist picking out grain with tweezers from a head of barley and then the image changes to show a single head standing upright which then becomes part of the word “Kebari”]


Over 13 years our scientists have bred together rare barley varieties that were missing each of the classes of gluten, producing the world’s first gluten free barley grain, kebari, named in honour of the Kebarin culture. 


[Text appears: Kebari, 10000 X, World Health Organisation Recommended]


Kebari barley contains 10,000 times less gluten than a traditional barley grain, meeting the World Health Organisation’s recommendation for classification as gluten free. 


[Images flash through of silhouette people bending over in tummy pain and text appears: 11%]


This is great news for people with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity, which affects up to 11% of the worldwide population, creating a clear market for kebari barley,


[Camera zooms in on a silhouetted male figure bending over holding his stomach and then the image shows him standing upright with a bowl of pasta in his hand and text appears: $7.5 billion]


with expenditure on gluten free products forecasted to exceed $7.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. 


[Image changes to show a female at a podium and text appears: Kebari, ON, Commercial pathway, Customer interviews, Pitch: Food companies, Coeliac societies]


Kebari barley was part of the ON Accelerator Programme, an initiative of Strategy 2020, dedicated to helping researchers develop ideas and find the right commercial pathway. 


[Image shows beer gradually moving up the screen from the base and a map of Australia is shown in the beer and text appears: CSIRO Canberra, Australia]



The Kebari Team undertook over 120 customer interviews and pitched their idea to regulators, consumers, Coeliac societies, food and brewing companies and venture capitalists.


[An image of Germany can be seen in the beer and text appears Radeberger, Germany and then image changes to show a background of people in a hotel with a bottle of Pionier beer being held in the foreground]


The team worked with Radeberger, a large German beer company, to produce the world’s first gluten free barley beer called Pionier. 


[Image shows a second bottle of Pionier beer being held in the foreground and the image shows the two beer bottles clinking together and then the image changes to show a bowl of pasta and a bowl of cereal as a head of barley bounces from the beer bottles across the bowls]


The beer launched in a German supermarket chain is the first exciting step in getting Kebari barley products to market. 


[Kebari, CSIRO and ON logos and text appears: The big ideas start here, Kebari barley was developed by CSIRO with co-funding from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)


Gosh that was thirsty work.  Cheers to Radeberger’s Pionier beer.



Wetting our whistle on the German beer market

The CSIRO Medal for Impact from Science

This award recognises exceptional individuals or research teams who have created value for customers through innovation that delivers impact for Australia.

Awarded to: Water Information Research and Development Alliance

For quantifying Australia's water resources and delivering breakthrough research and innovation in water assessment, forecasting and informatics. CSIRO acknowledges the Bureau of Meteorology as a distinguished partner of the Water Information Research and Development Alliance. Learn more from our WIRADA animation.


[Image shows animation of a body of water]


Narrator: Water is one of our most important resources,

[Image shows to show an animation of water a figure representing someone fishing on a boat floats by on screen]

we don’t just need it for drinking,

[Image changes to show a green background as animated figures representing farmers, industry workers and trees appear on screen]

 we need it for farming, industry and to keep our countries ecosystems healthy.

[Image changes back to the animation of water and figure representing someone fishing on a boat. Text appears: BIG CHALLENGES]

But we’ve got some big challenges with how we manage our water, from meeting competing demands from the agriculture, environmental and urban sectors,

[Image changes to show animations representing agricultural, environmental and urban sectors locations]

to the uncertainty of water resource availability and the impact of climate change.  

[Image changes back to the animation of water and figure representing someone fishing on a boat]

To meet the challenges we need reliable and timely data and information.

[Image changes to show a pink background. Text appears: RELIABLE & TIMELY]

[Image shows pink background as text appears: DATA & INFORMATION]

[Image changes to show yellow background with text: The Bureau of Meteorology]

[Image continues to show text: The Bureau of Meteorology as text: + and logo: CSIRO appear]

In 2008 the Bureau of Metrology and CSIRO established the Water Information Research and Development Alliance,

[Image shows yellow background as text appears: W, water I, information, R, research, A, & D, development, A, alliance]

or WIRADA to deliver critical and accurate water information for Australia.

[Image changes to show yellow background with a green animated image of Australia as a white animated line traces a circle around it]

 This eight year, 65 million dollar research partnership combines CSIRO’s leading expertise

[Image changes to show green background as text appears: 8 YEAR (line) $65 MILLION Research Partnership]

[Image changes to show green background as logo appears: CSIRO and text: The Bureau of Meteorology, Water & information sciences + Hydrological Analysis & Prediction]

in water and information sciences and the Bureaus operational role in hydrological analyses and prediction, to deliver high quality water information and tools to government, industry and all Australians.

[Image changes to show green background as animated images to represent government, industry and Australians swipe past the screen]

The science and technology breakthroughs have surpassed all expectations,

[Image changes to show blue background showing a statistic graph and lines growing up along the screen]

they’ve changed the way Australia’s water managers and users operate,

[Image changes to show blue background with animated people appear next to text: Water Managers & Users]

by integrating weather and hydrological observations,

[Image shows animated images scroll past the screen to represent different climates]

with climate, catchment and river flow modeling, along with new statistical methods and super computer.

[Image changes to show an animation to represent graphs scroll past]

WIRADA created two products that accurately predicts stream flows,

[Image changes to show pink background with text: Predict Stream Flows with an arrow pointing toward an animated image representing calendars] 

days, months and seasons ahead for major rivers across Australia.

[Image shows animated water with an animated image of a person on a boat floating in the water, with numbers in the corners and lines on the side representing real time stimulations of landscape water fluxes and stores]

There are real time stimulations of landscape water fluxes and stores across Australia,

[Image changes to show yellow background with animates images of white clouds]

[Image changes to show animated image representing satellite observations]

developed by innovatively combining in situ climate and stream flow measurements, satellite observations and hydrological modelling.

[Image changes to show green background with text: High Resolution Products, below this text animated lines appear tracing boxes around the text: Digital Elevation, River Network, animated images appear to represent digital elevation and river network as well as Australia]

Australians now have high resolution digital elevation and river network products, while data providers have adopted data exchange standards to share, interrogate, reuse and present water data.

[Image changes to show animated images surrounding text highlighted in a pink box: STANDARDS, SHARE, INTERROGATE, RE-USE, PRESENT, WATER DATA]

[Image shows to show an animation of water a figure representing someone fishing on a boat floats by on screen, text appears: Products & Services, WIRADA]

The water information products and services delivered through WIRADA

[Image changes to show animated images of people appear above the text: Help everyone, strong, sustainable, future, Australia’s water]

help everyone work toward a strong and sustainable future for Australia’s water.

[Image changes to show logo: CSIRO and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

Water Information Research and Development Alliance

CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award

The CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award recognises the application of an entrepreneurial approach between an individual or team and a customer under conditions of ambiguity and uncertainty. This Award is designed to celebrate those who use passion, persistence and resourcefulness to turn an opportunity into reality.

Awarded to: BuildingIQ Research Team

For the invention and successful commercialisation of the BuildingIQ air-conditioning control system; increasing building heating ventilation and air conditioning operation and delivering efficiency, comfort and energy use savings. CSIRO acknowledges BuildingIQ as a distinguished industry partner for the BuildingIQ Research Team. Learn more from our BuildingIQ animated video.

[Upbeat music plays and a question mark appears on screen, it moves to the side and numbers, increasing from 5 % to 31 %, play on screen]

Narrator: There’s one kind of manmade object that is responsible for a third of energy related greenhouse gas emissions and they’re also tipped to be the largest and cheapest source of reductions in emissions.

[Image changes to show a row of question marks that turn to reveal a picture of each of the items the narrator mentions below]

It’s not cars, ships or planes, it’s buildings, specifically the commercial air-conditioning and heating requirements that keep us comfortable.

[Image changes to show a row of buildings, all with cooling systems on the roof. Six faces pop out of the windows of the buildings and alternate between a sad and smiling face]

To work toward reducing this huge energy demand we created a system called OptiCOOl, which was then commercialized as BuildingIQ.

[Image changes to show a bar graph with three columns representing low energy efficiency and high energy consumption and cost rates of current cooling systems]

[Image changes to show a bar graph with three columns now representing high energy efficiency and low energy consumption and cost rates of the BuildingIQ cooling system]

It’s an air-conditioning control system that increases energy efficiency, lowers energy consumption by up to 30 per cent and saves money.

[An animation of the effectiveness of the BuildingIQ system plays out on screen, with representative icons of each of the things the narrator explains below appearing on screen]

BuildingIQ attaches to any existing commercial heating, ventilation and air-conditioning control system and intelligently monitors and adjusts building conditions based on real-time information such as weather data, energy pricing, comfort models and real-time feedback from the building occupants, who can say, online, if they’re too hot or too cold.

[Image changes to show a bar graph where the lines are decreasing or increasing depending on which dot point the narrator is referring to – decreasing for energy consumption, costs and greenhouse gases and increasing for productivity and comfort]

It results in reduced energy consumption, lower costs, reduced greenhouse gases and increased productivity through improved occupant comfort.

[Image changes to show a world map, Sydney is marked out with a red dot and dashes move across the ocean and land on a section labeled New York]

BuildingIQ is being used in a range of buildings from a hospital in Sydney, to the Rockefeller Centre in New York.

[Image changes to show an outline of the U.S. in the colours of their flag. This picture turns into rows of money representing the increasing dollar figure that’s counting upwards from 1-billion dollars to 26-billion dollars]

The U.S. building market spends about 26-billion dollars on energy every year; BuildingIQ could reduce that by ten per cent, a saving of 2.6-billion dollars.

[Image changes to show rows of buildings with the BuildingIQ logo appearing on all of them]

Once again, CSIRO has developed and led to market a new product that cannot only improve the world around us, but save money, too.

[CSIRO logo appears on screen with text: Australia’s innovation catalyst]


The CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement

The CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement recognises individuals who have a record of sustained and meritorious achievements in science, technology and innovation or the support of science, technology and innovation.

Awarded to: Dr Ivan Cole

For the development and leadership of research teams, programs and business units, which has transformed CSIRO science, leading to a lasting impact on international scientific and business communities.

CSIRO Medal for Health, Safety and Environment Achievement

This award recognises and promotes the most significant impact made by a CSIRO individual, team or Business Unit to the health, safety or environmental performance of a customer/partner or CSIRO activity.

Awarded to: Marine National Facility Ships Management Team

For the development of a unique mental health and wellbeing at sea strategy, designed to support participants and their next of kin on CSIRO research vessel Investigator voyages.

CSIRO Medal for Support Excellence

This award recognises teams who support, through projects, initiatives or service delivery, the creation of value for our customers through innovation that delivers positive impact for Australia.

Awarded to: CSIRO WebEx Project Team

For the customisation and deployment of WebEx, an integrated global conferencing and collaboration platform to support CSIRO Strategy 2020, enhancing CSIRO’s ability to collaborate anywhere and at any time, while realising significant savings.

The John Philip Award for the Promotion of Excellence in Young Scientists

This award provides opportunities for young scientists to extend their professional development by gaining further career related training and experience.

Awarded to: Mr Mike Collins

For building on international collaboration activities to optimise performance of components and drive down the cost of building solar fields, ultimately bringing Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy closer to market in Australia.

Awarded to: Dr Berkay Ozcelik

For expertise in materials science and microbiology and combating medical device related infections, particularly against antimicrobial resistant bacteria.

Awarded to: Dr Anais Pagès

For working on the boundaries between organic chemistry, evolutionary biology and ore deposit geology to build new understanding of the role micro-organisms play in concentrating metals in rocks.

The Frank Fenner Study Scholarship

The Scholarship provides an opportunity for professional development to Post-Doctoral Fellows engaged in plant, animal and marine biosecurity.

Awarded to: Dr Daniel Layton

For research in the area of host/pathogen interaction, that has led to promising outcomes aimed at vaccine production for the third world and commercial applications.

Chief Executive's Study Award

The Chief Executive's Study Award provides opportunities for outstanding and innovative support staff to extend their professional development by gaining further training and experience related to their careers.

Awarded to: Beth Maloney

For expanding legal expertise in legislative accountability and public governance.

Awarded to: Neil Webster

For building knowledge and enhancing international networks and Australia's efforts in radioactive waste management.

Awarded to: Lydia Lopes

For building knowledge on how to better obtain, use, and communicate market and industry insights to make effective and strategic organisational decisions.

Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry Award

Awarded every two years, this award recognises outstanding contributions by CSIRO scientists and engineers to national development. It was last awarded on 10 October 2014.

Awarded to: LASC Longwall Automation Research Team

For the development of LASC, a mining equipment automation technology based on inertial navigation that has generated significant improvements to the productivity and safety of Australia’s longwall coal mines. CSIRO acknowledges Glencore as a distinguished partner for the LASC Longwall Automation Research Team in their development of LASC.

For previous years winner's check out Award winners: CSIRO Awards.

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