Statement of Intent

The Minister for Industry and Science provided this Statement of Expectations to CSIRO on 23 February 2015. The CSIRO Board responded with its Statement of Intent outlining how CSIRO will meet these expectations.

A PDF of the original letter containing the Statement of Expectations and the responding Statement of Intent is available to all staff.

Statement of Intent for CSIRO

The CSIRO Board welcomes the Minister’s Statement of Expectations of 23 February 2015.

The Statement of Expectations reflects our shared commitment to supporting world class research in order to achieve impacts from the application of the research outcomes, including for the benefit of Australian industry, national economic competitiveness and Australian wellbeing.

CSIRO developed its 2015-20 Strategy in concurrence with your Statement. The Strategy responds to national and global trends that require the nation to accelerate the pace of innovation driven by science and technology. The Strategy provides an integrated plan for CSIRO to conduct its functions under the Science and Industry Act 1949 to respond to the imperative that science and technology is used in the Australian economy to lift innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

In conducting its functions CSIRO will ensure that its practices and processes comply with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and that internal processes to support governance accountability and performance obligations under the Act are in place.

Policy priorities including Partnerships and Collaboration

The Vision for the Strategy is that CSIRO acts as Australia's innovation catalyst to significantly boost Australia's innovation performance.

Focusing the Strategy upon innovation is a key element of CSIRO's response to the Australian Government's Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, including to use science and technology to achieve commercial outcomes that lift innovation, help successful Australian businesses grow, and boost Australia's productivity and exports.

CSIRO will focus its efforts on creating value for our customers through innovation which delivers positive impact for Australia. CSIRO will work to encourage the application and adoption of its research output to improve Australia's competitiveness, both by working directly with business to translate research into commercial outcomes as well as indirectly, through informing policy formation. CSIRO will continue to ensure that our brand is a guarantee of the highest quality scientific standards and trusted advice.

The Strategy articulates actions to ensure that CSIRO creates deeper innovation relationships with its customers and collaborates with partners to provide the best solutions for CSIRO's customers; and to take a global outlook to national benefit through connection to global science and new customers and markets for Australian innovation. CSIRO will continue to conduct large scale applied programs that address national challenges but will increasingly source and integrate capability from outside CSIRO. For the purpose of delivering value to customers and creating innovation, CSIRO will collaborate with our partners including universities to bring the best capability to bear and to build global connections and market vision. In this process CSIRO will continue to grow its activity as a national collaborator, connector and trusted advisor, through collaborating more intensively both externally and internally. CSIRO will strive to increase the mobility and exchange of people and knowledge between universities, industry and publicly-funded bodies. The Strategy also outlines that as a contribution to the development of an innovation capable workforce, CSIRO will increase its direct engagement in education from school programs through to Post-Doctoral level. This will include activities aimed at closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement and employment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The accelerated program of translation of research into the market will require CSIRO to embrace measured commercial risks, striving to act more entrepreneurially and with greater agility, to retain its standing and reputation in the fast paced global environment. As one avenue of delivering national benefit, CSIRO will increase its activity towards supporting the establishment and early-stage development of new spin-off companies from appropriate technology opportunities. CSIRO will work to put into place funding mechanisms to support this avenue of commercialisation, which requires a more advanced level of technology readiness. CSIRO is initiating an innovation program to identify ideas with high potential commercial value, to develop entrepreneurial skills and provide a range of new opportunities for collaboration in building new ventures.

CSIRO will continue to work closely with the Chairs of the Industry Growth Centres and the Department in support of the formation of these Centres, including through membership of CSIRO’s advisory committees and hosting Centre activities at CSIRO facilities. With CSIRO's current research investment profile being predominantly aligned to these industry sectors, the Strategy actions to accelerate delivery of research-based technology products and services will support increased competitiveness and productivity in these sectors.

CSIRO will continue to provide specialist knowledge and advice for the purpose of the development of evidence based policy, across a broad range of science and policy domains. It will be a privilege for CSIRO to continue to provide support for the Commonwealth Science Council; as well as to engage with the Chief Scientist of Australia through the National Science, Technology and Research Committee.

The Strategy recognises the need for CSIRO to expand its global presence and linkages in overseas markets, including to build connections with emerging markets of national importance as well as to maintain relevance and competitiveness.

An important function that CSIRO contributes to the Australian R&D system is to manage the National Facilities and Collections. CSIRO will manage this infrastructure and biological collections to support delivery of impact to the Australian people, environment, research and industry. CSIRO will also develop, through the merger with the National ICT Australia, a digital innovation hub focused on data that will be critical for industry, government and research transformation across multiple sectors.

Planning and Reporting and Communication

CSIRO's performance expectations and progress in delivery of the Strategy will be published annually in the Corporate Plan and Annual Report. CSIRO will measure its performance through the metrics of the impact return on its investment in research, customer satisfaction, revenue supporting CSIRO's research from industry and international sources; collaboration levels, and licensing of its intellectual property; people (diversity and inclusion, and health and safety); and investment in future science and technology.

CSIRO will ensure that you and your office are kept informed of significant activities in a timely manner, including through regular briefings on major issues considered by the Board and regular meetings with the Chief Executive. CSIRO will comply with the requirements under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 for an annual Corporate Plan. The Chief Executive will continue to ensure appropriate and timely communication arrangements with your Portfolio Secretary and Department are in place.

The Board and management of CSIRO will continue to fulfil their duties to the Organisation and the Australian Government responsibly and to act at all times in the national interest. CSIRO aspires to the science that we do, working with our partners and collaborators, being translated to impact for the future of Australia, supporting the Australian community and delivering a national benefit.

Eileen Doyle
Deputy Chairman, CSIRO Board
24 August 2015


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