The CSIRO US team helps facilitate relationships that connect Australian researchers with US projects in a number of different industries.

The United States of America

The United States of America is CSIRO's largest international partner and we have long-standing and extensive relationships with US government and corporate organisations. In early 2017, CSIRO opened an office in Silicon Valley to help put Australian science at the centre of the world's research and technology frontier.

Leading innovation partner in the United States

CSIRO US supports the Australian Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda and increases Australia's capacity to bring world-leading technologies to global markets. The organisation incorporates cutting edge research and technology to enhance products and solutions in global markets.

CSIRO US aims to accelerate global cross-disciplinary research to solve product, licensing and science issues. The organisation works in energy, space, the environment, manufacturing, food, agriculture, health, biosecurity and anywhere Australian innovation can make a difference to the world.

It facilitates relationships with government agencies, North American global organisations, research institutions, universities, businesses and Fortune 1000 companies. The organisation has more than 3,600 patents, 300 licenses and 170 spin-off companies.

Data Cubes unlocking Earth observation potential

Researchers are developing the next generation of a high-performance data analytics platform for Earth observation data. This technology is currently being applied around the world.

As part of the initiative, CSIRO researchers, in collaboration with Geoscience Australia and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), further developed Geoscience Australia’s 'Australian Geoscience Data Cube' that houses and processes petabytes of satellite Earth observation data from multiple sensors.

Credit: © Copernicus/Sentinel2A

Since 2017, NASA, the United States Geological Survey, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites and the United Kingdom's Satellite Applications Catapult have joined the program.

Users can add their own algorithms into the analysis framework, and for many applications the Open Data Cube's platform allows parallel computation across thousands of processes and a petabyte of data. This enables scientists to use the Earth observation data more efficiently, measuring changes or mapping new aspects of the Australian environment and surrounding oceans.

The Open Data Cube has led to the development of the Earth Analytics and Science Innovation (EASI) platform. This platform turbo-charges the capacity to process and integrate huge amounts of Earth observation data with other geospatial information and models. Through EASI, CSIRO and its partners aim to:

  • Assist business growth in Earth observation applications through innovation and partnerships.
  • Equip and train researchers, government and industry in the use of Earth observation data and analytics.
  • Supply digital services from CSIRO to local, regional and global end-users.

CSIRO US is partnering with The University of California, Davis, NASA Langley and Amazon Web Services on the development of the Data Cube California Centre of Excellence. This initiative will deliver a number of key projects which seek to target wildfire recovery and mitigation, forest health monitoring, agriculture, mining and climate change adaptation.

Investing in new food and agriculture technologies

Silicon Valley Global (SVG) Ventures-THRIVE is a global food and agriculture innovation platform in the Silicon Valley whose goal is to advance the future of food and agriculture through innovation.

THRIVE implements this mission by accelerating, investing in and working with entrepreneurs, investors and Fortune 500 companies which are developing or plan to develop food and agriculture technology. Its corporate innovation program is focused on connecting their corporate partners with emerging technologies that will make the most significant impact in their organisations.

CSIRO has formed a three-year partnership with SVG Ventures-THRIVE to bring the most promising Australian start-ups to Silicon Valley and showcase their projects to US investors and corporate partners for funding and commercialisation. In 2020, two start-up teams were awarded seed funding and participation in the accelerator, which is the first time Australian start-ups have been selected into the program.

Collaborating with United States Department of Energy Research Laboratories

CSIRO researchers are collaborating with the United States Department of Energy's National Laboratories through its Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. The US Department of Energy works in four key areas including energy, science and innovation, nuclear safety and security and management and operational excellence. The LDRD program enables overseas entities to partner with one of the department’s 17 National Laboratories.

The program aims to foster creativity in science and technology, prove new concepts in research and development and support high risk and high value research and development. The partnerships lead to outcomes which benefit both the National Laboratories and their partners.

An example of one of the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories is the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Its research foci include physics, chemistry, biological sciences, energy storage, national security and high-performance computing, among others. CSIRO Australia’s Data61 worked with the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago to develop the Array of Things (AoT). The Array of Things is an urban sensor network which collects real-time data on the environment and air quality. Researchers aim to discover how the Internet of Things can transform smart cities into healthy neighbourhoods. 

Data61 developed Synapse, the technology used in this project. Synapse is a distributed system that automates sensor data monitoring. The system provides continuous results which can easily be shared. Data61 agreed to share this technology with the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago for their Array of Things project. In September 2018 Data61 signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the two entities to detail this. Under the Switch program, a Data61 scientist visited Chicago to begin formal collaboration on the project. Data61 is now awaiting the arrival of two devices from the Array of Things project from Chicago. Once these devices arrive, Data61 will begin implementing a similar project in Melbourne.

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