Future Science Platforms are critical to turn Australia’s future challenges into opportunities to invent a better future for us all.

Future Science Platforms (FSPs) are an investment in science that underpins innovation and that has the potential to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia. FSPs will see us grow the capability of new generation of researchers and allow Australia to attract the best students and experts to work with us on future science.

Here's a short summary of the visions behind each of our new Future Science Platforms: a multi-year, multi-disciplinary investment in our collective future - bringing CSIRO and our partners together to work on the big ideas.

Active Integrated Matter

AIM harnesses digital technology, autonomous systems, and materials science to deliver the transdisciplinary scientific breakthroughs needed for Enlightened Industry, or Industry 5.0. It helps industry tackle global challenges and take advantage of future trends.

AIM uses CSIRO expertise in materials, robotics, processing and sensing technologies and autonomous science to bridge the gap between improving what’s currently possible and paving the way for what soon will be.

Active Integrated Matter - Researching the material things that interact with the digital world

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (MLAI)

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (MLAI) are capabilities that will transform economies and the basis of competition globally, unlock new societal and environmental value and accelerate scientific discovery. Many of the challenges facing our society require multidisciplinary solutions which are larger than a single human brain can solve. MLAI provides the opportunity to solve science challenges using data-driven or model-driven science, increased data interpretation speeds, or increased speed of data analysis.

The MLAI FSP will explore questions such as: how do we use machine learning to augment a scientist’s ability to generate and learn from scientific data? What is the best way to include domain constraints (such as physical laws) and design constraints (such as privacy and fairness) into machine learning models? Where can we exploit genomic information in plant and animal breeding? Why is deep learning so effective in extracting meaningful features? How can we provide explainable AI for decision-making to protect the great barrier reef? Solving these types of challenges will open new vistas of scientific knowledge and positive impact.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (MLAI)

Deep Earth Imaging

In the future, Australia's minerals, energy and water resources will come from far greater depths in the Earth and from deep offshore sources, but our ability to find and exploit these resources is limited by the deep and complex cover of sediments and weathered material that covers 80 per cent of Australia's land mass. The science of Deep Earth Imaging will help us more precisely image subsurface rock properties to unlock the potential of this vast and relatively under-explored area.

Deep Earth Imaging – unlocking the resource potential of a vast, under-explored part of Australia.


Digiscape is about harnessing the digital revolution for Australian farmers and land managers. We will solve multiple real-life knowledge shortfalls in the land sector simultaneously by building a common big data infrastructure that will support next generation decision making and transform agricultural industries and environmental action.

Digiscape - harnessing the digital revolution for Australian farmers and land managers


Environomics aims to reinvent how we measure and monitor ecosystem health, predict biodiversity responses to environmental change, manage biological resources, detect biosecurity threats and more. This next generation of environmental science will be based on genomics, phenomics, big data informatics and simulation.

Providing the technology to investigate and manage genetic resources and the environment

Hydrogen Energy Systems

Australia has access to vast energy resources through sun, wind, biomass, natural gas and coal, all of which can be used to produce hydrogen and/or the desired energy carrier compound. The fuel could be used domestically in transport, power generation and to offset more carbon-intensive resources, and Australia could also become a world-leading exporter of low emissions hydrogen.

CSIRO's Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform

Precision Health

Australia's current healthcare system is focussed on treating illnesses, but to keep up with our ageing population the focus needs to switch to keeping healthy people healthy. Through engagement with the community to understand their expectations and attitudes to a more tailored healthcare paradigm, and building on programs and developments already underway in the medical field, Precision Health will focus on creating an integrated platform that can be used to proactively manage a person's health throughout the course of their life through highly tailored food, nutrition and lifestyle interventions.

CSIRO Future of Health

Probing Biosystems

A revolution in healthcare through devices and systems to obtain real-time information from living organisms about their health and well-being. This will lead to the ability to provide health and medical interventions that are timely, customised and highly specific. Innovative autonomous sensing technology also strengthen future biosecurity control for the nation.

Probing Biosystems - A revolution in healthcare through innovative devices & diagnostic technologies

Responsible Innovation

The pace of change of emerging science and technology is creating complex issues for societies and their decision-makers. The Responsible Innovation (RI) FSP is a program of research that assesses the potential risks, benefits and uncertainties of future science and technology and ensures socially responsible science and technology is designed and delivered for all Australians.

Building on our existing social science capability, we examine the significant policy, regulatory and ethical challenges presented by novel and disruptive innovations and technologies, which if left unresolved, could hinder progress and innovation needed for future science to deliver benefits to society and future generations. In order to do this successfully, we integrate our tried and tested evaluation and assessment scientific methodologies and processes, and apply new criteria that are purpose-built for these emerging areas.

Responsible Innovation: understanding science and technology in society

Space Technology

Space Technology will identify and develop the science to leapfrog traditional technologies and find new areas for Australian industry to work in. It will initially focus on advanced technologies for Earth observation, and then address challenges such as space object tracking, resource utilisation in space, and developing manufacturing and life support systems for missions to the Moon and Mars.

An example of the work being considered by the Space FSP is the challenge presented by the significant volumes of Earth observation data being gathered by a new generation of small satellites. This creates opportunities to build new businesses and reinvent numerous fields of research, driven by new insights into our environment. Our multi-disciplinary approach can also be applied to the challenges of resource extraction while in space, remote operations, space object tracking, and astronaut health and nutrition.

Over the past 75 years, CSIRO has built strong capabilities in Earth observation, radio astronomy, space tracking and managing complex facilities. CSIRO supports supply chains through advanced manufacturing, managing big data and helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs). CSIRO also has an established network of national and international partnerships throughout the space sector, and recently released our Space Roadmap.

Space Technology – growing Australia’s space capabilities

Synthetic Biology

Our Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform is positioning Australia to play a role in one of the fastest growing areas of modern science so that we can understand global developments and contribute to advances in areas including manufacturing, industrial biotechnology, environmental remediation, biosecurity, agriculture, and healthcare research. Synthetic biology (Synbio) is a rapidly expanding multi-billion dollar industry with significant potential for generating societal benefits and commercial opportunities. It will drive innovation in a diverse range of new and existing industries in the future. Our mission is to grow Synbio capacity within CSIRO and across Australia

Synthetic Biology - creating and fostering a step-change in Australia's synthetic biology capability

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