This year I have again been proud to see the many achievements of our talented scientists, the diversity of our science and to observe the passion and commitment of our people right across the organisation.

David Thodey standing with arms crossed.

David Thodey AO, Chairman of the CSIRO Board.

It is an honour to be a part of Australia’s national science agency as we focus on scientific excellence that creates value for our nation, and helps to lift our national innovation performance.

CSIRO is unique in the world because it is one of the few publicly-funded research organisations that focuses on every aspect of science, engineering and technology. This enables the organisation to bring multidisciplinary skills to solve national challenges and create new opportunities. CSIRO is a national asset that belongs to every Australian.

This year has once again seen the organisation deliver leading-edge research, science, solutions and innovations. Our people are delivering solutions through world-class work in agriculture, to monitoring our oceans and atmosphere, to managing our precious water, resources and land, to working across our resources sector, to driving analysis of our energy ecosystem both distribution and generation, and many more detailed in this report. These solutions include some exciting initiatives like a world-first membrane for fuelling hydrogen vehicles, a unique recipe for Australia's first home-grown carbon fibre, a super-charged water filtration technology made from graphene, and an innovative digital platform for connecting remote communities with health specialists in cities. We are also seeing digital technology impact every part of our science and research. Australia's leading digital research network, Data61, is now an integral part of the wider CSIRO team and brings deep technology skills to the work we do with industry and the government.

Our strategy sets out an ambitious plan to support Australia's innovation and science agenda as well as creating a connected innovation system throughout Australia. The Board has been encouraged to see the growing collaboration across the key members of this wider community – recognising that there is still much to do. We have also been encouraged to see two of our key initiatives gain traction – our accelerator ON and the CSIRO Innovation Fund, managed by Main Sequence Ventures – and are delivering national benefit. These two programs have expanded the critical role CSIRO plays in the national – and international – innovation ecosystem, supporting research to transition off the lab bench and into the world though more diverse paths. Investing in early stage concepts through an accelerator, or early stage business models through venture capital, provide opportunities for us to support early stage companies in an increasingly global and diversified marketplace.

The Board and I have had the privilege of meeting many of our teams this year as the Board has had their meetings in Sydney, Geelong, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane. CSIRO's people are the reason we are celebrating another successful year. The Board has been encouraged to see the expansion of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, which was announced last year, and of the inaugural HS-Me Day, held across CSIRO to focus the entire organisation on health, wellbeing and safety.

This annual report describes an organisation which is experiencing positive growth and delivering value to its many customers and partners. Thank you to the entire team at CSIRO for your hard work, dedication and untiring commitment to the mission of our organisation. We have made good progress in the last twelve months and on behalf of the Board, we are looking forward to working with you as we guide CSIRO into its second century together.

David Thodey AO
Chairman of the CSIRO Board

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