Highlights of 2011-12

This report highlights a wide array of our recent science and its applications. Here are just a few examples of the impact science has on our lives, our industries and our environment.

Wireless networking technology 

CSIRO invented and patented wireless networking technology in the 1990s – a technology that has given us the freedom to work wirelessly in our homes, classrooms and offices, using devices such as laptops and smart phones.

In April 2012, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, announced that a major part of CSIRO’s most recent US litigation involving its wireless local area network (WLAN) patent had been settled prior to trial.

The WLAN team also won the European Patent Office Non-European Inventor Award for 2012.

Square Kilometre Array

In May 2012, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation announced that the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array radio telescope would be deployed in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The SKA will explore the dark ages of the early universe and map its structure in unprecedented detail. © SKA Organisation / Swinburne Astronomy

The SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope and will help address unanswered questions about our universe, including how the first stars and galaxies were formed.

State of the Climate 2012

The State of the Climate 2012 report is the second produced by CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It provides a summary of observations of Australia’s climate and analysis of the factors that influence it. The report confirms that, in Australia, each decade has been warmer than the previous decade since the 1950s.

Solar cooling system

The Energy Transformed Flagship installed Australia’s first commercial-scale solar cooling system at the Hunter Institute of Technology, New South Wales. The system provides cool air in summer and heating in winter, and is projected to save 5,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas over the next decade.

Australian Defence Apparel

CSIRO teamed up with defence research partners and developed a new manufacturing process and infrastructure for cost- effective armour production in Australia. In 2012, Australian Defence Apparel was awarded a $4 million grant from the Australian Government to establish an advanced armour processing plant in Bendigo, Victoria, based on this technology. This is expected to create more than 40 new jobs.

RAFT technology

Lubrizol Corporation in the USA has created advanced highly-viscose polymers, known as AstericTM Viscosity Modifiers, using CSIRO’s RAFT (Reversible Addition Fragmentation chain Transfer) technology.

This first RAFT-based product was launched in August 2011 at the American Chemical Society Conference and is now commercially available. Dr Ezio Rizzardo and Professor David Solomon received the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for 2011 for their work on polymers.


Dr Ezio Rizzardo and Professor David Solomon standing in the lab.

Dr Ezio Rizzardo (left) and Professor David Solomon (right) received the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for 2011 for their work on polymers.


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