Science Strategy Investment and Impact Committee Charter

The CSIRO Science, Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee (SICOM) is a sub-committee of the CSIRO Executive Team under the authority of the Chief Executive.


The CSIRO Science, Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee (SICOM) is a sub-committee of the CSIRO Executive Team under the authority of the Chief Executive. CSIRO’s overall planning, investment and review processes are managed by the Deputy Chief Executive, who is the Chair of SICOM.

SICOM focuses at the Enterprise, Line of Business and Business Unit levels. It may, if necessary, consider matters below these levels to inform decision making and confirm alignment and integration of planning. Executive Directors and Business Unit leaders are however responsible for the management of their areas of accountability to deliver against SICOM agreed goals and key performance indicators.

SICOM operates on a consensus model. If a matter is not agreed by consensus the Committee Chair will refer the matter to the Chief Executive for consideration.

See note of terminology below.


The purpose of SICOM is to support the Executive Team (ET) to direct and control the Organisation’s strategic science, capability, capital, support and impact planning, investment and performance management.

In addition, the Committee will:

  • Recommend to the ET specific investment options, preferably at strategic or concept stage;
  • Oversee the science standing and preparedness of CSIRO;
  • Oversee delivery against Flagship impact and capability goals;
  • Oversee delivery against Business Unit plans;
  • Monitor and review organisational performance against strategic investment decisions and plans; and
  • Provide advice on other matters related to science and innovation, as required.

Specific responsibilities

In respect of planning, investment and review, the Committee have five core responsibilities:

1. Strategic investment planning

  • Oversight of the overall medium to long term CSIRO investment profile to ensure balanced strategic science, capability and impact perspective, with a focus on the strategic alignment, financial sustainability and effective integration and coordination of the overall investment profile.
  • Make recommendations regarding:
    • Broad science and impact direction of CSIRO’s investment profile including implications for Enterprise Functions (i.e. develop broad direction statement every four years as part of strategy and basis for development of portfolio and specific investment cases); and
    • Specific categories of investment (e.g. Major Project) and relative levels of investment.

2. Capital and strategic procurement planning

  • Consider and make recommendations regarding CSIRO’s medium to long term strategic capital plan and strategic procurement, including the relative levels of investment in different classes of research and support infrastructure and the development of major facilities and precincts.

3. Investment process and operational planning

  • Conduct a systematic investment process and translate medium term strategic priorities into investment decisions reflected in annual budgets and 3 outyear budgets and operational plans;
  • Articulate the principles/criteria for the development and consideration of investment cases;
  • Identify specific measures to achieve strategic investment goals and address challenges;
  • Evaluate and prioritise science, capability, support and capital investment cases to develop an overall integrated, strategically aligned investment profile for CSIRO;
  • Make recommendations regarding:
    • Science and capability prioritisation for medium to long term investment; and
    • Investment cases for Business Units and Enterprise Functions including the objectives (deliverables), level and balance of investment with one to four year projection (not at transaction level), within context of the overall CSIRO investment profile, including:
      • Funding assigned to supporting development of future platform capabilities of enterprise scale and significance;
      • Funding applied for development of future capability required for sustained impact delivery, for national preparedness, and for development and support of science excellence; and
      • Funding applied to internally operated competitive and discretionary schemes that otherwise support science excellence, capability, impact, collaboration, culture and diversity.
    • Conditions and arrangements that must be in place to support the investment and strategies to mitigate investment risks; and
    • Level and form of co-investment in areas.
  • Review and endorse Business Unit plans to ensure:
    • Integration and alignment with strategic investment decisions;
    • Transparency of the alignment between capability investment and strategic priorities; and
    • Coordination across CSIRO (ie. a program perspective to capability development).
  • Conduct annual recalibration at Business Unit level to identify areas for possible investment shifts (e.g. due to changed circumstances, etc) and options should savings measures be required.

4. Advice

  • Provide advice, as requested, on policy matters related to CSIRO’s science, strategy, investment and impact, including:
    • The policy and investment implications of CSIRO’s potential involvement in major projects and government programs (e.g. CRC program, NCRIS, EIF program) including recommendations regarding conditions for involvement in such programs; and
    • Policies with respect to the responsible conduct of scientific research.

5. Review

  • Monitor and evaluate performance against strategic and operational plans and related investments, at Line of Business-level, to inform future planning and investment decisions; and make recommendations to the Executive responsible or ET, as appropriate.
  • Maintain a portfolio view of the relevance and performance of Business Units, and make recommendations to the ET regarding the direction and operations of these.
  • Monitor and evaluate the standing of CSIRO’s science and contribution to Australia’s national scientific capability; and monitor investments in scientific preparedness including the scientific breadth and depth required to deliver against Flagship impact goals.


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