Under our strategy we’ve made tremendous progress against all our key performance indicators, showing Australia’s national science agency is solving our greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Our success has been driven by a focus on the strategic pillars underpinning our role as Australia's innovation catalyst.

External reviews of the impact of our research continued to exceed benchmarks, including finding that just 21 projects alone have a present value estimated at $1.28 billion. Our impact is underpinned by our commitment to science excellence, demonstrated by our citation rate maintaining its prestigious place in the top quartile of Australian universities, and above the global average. Further, our investment in the areas of breakthrough research that will deliver tomorrow’s high impact results is on track, growing our Future Science Platforms by two, and almost doubling the number of propositions supported by the CSIRO Innovation Fund, managed by Main Sequence Ventures, compared with our target number.

Everything we do is delivered through collaboration, so our partner metrics are equally as important. This year we exceeded our satisfaction targets for universities involved in the ON program, and increased our customer Net Promoter Score from last year, more than doubling our target. We continued to ensure the impact of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) was spread around the national research system with 93 per cent of projects involving more than one organisation, and we championed the profile of science in the community by increasing participation in our outreach programs by 10 per cent, well above our target of 5 per cent. Our management of national research infrastructure on behalf of the broader scientific community saw us meet or exceed all our targets for maintaining world-class standards and enabling high levels of utilisation throughout the Australian research sector.

Our people are our most valuable asset, and this year we exceeded all our targets as we continue strengthening CSIRO’s culture and enabling our people to do their best work for the nation. Our strategy delivered gains in gender diversity in leadership, increasing engagement scores, internal and external reputation growth, high safety and wellbeing standards and a well-managed budget. Each of these factors ensures CSIRO can continue to attract and retain the best talent in the world.

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This annual report tells a clear and compelling story of the real difference CSIRO is making in Australia and the world. While delivering against our key performance indicators, here are a few of our highlights arranged by strategic pillar.

Customer first

  • Boeing Supplier of the Year award for second consecutive year
  • Top Engineering, R&D and Manufacturing Graduate Employer awarded by GradAustralia
  • 2,400 customers including 1000 SMEs, 488 international customers, 311 government departments and 355 large corporates
  • 49 US Fortune 500 customers
  • Increased customer satisfaction +40 up from +34 last year

Breakthrough innovation

  • Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research awarded to Colvera, a new blood test for bowel cancer
  • Ranked 18 in the Reuters Top 25 Global Innovators – Government list, and the only Australian institution
  • 222 teams through our ON accelerator program since 2015
  • 25 per cent increase in projects connecting SMEs with research, injecting $25m into R&D
  • 10 per cent increase in revenue from international sources since 2013–14

Excellent science

  • We have invested >$100 million in basic strategic science in the last 3 years.
  • Coviu, an online health services platform used by about 1,100 healthcare professionals, has enabled more than 20,000 video consultations since 2015. Coviu developed out of our ON program and has secured a $1 million investment from the CSIRO Innovation Fund, managed by Main Sequence Ventures.
  • We announced a new Earth Observation Centre, which will collect and analyse data about Earth from space. The centre signed its first agreements, including with CSIRO's partner, Geoscience Australia, for the Digital Earth Australia program.

Collaboration hub

  • Through the government-supported Australian Future Fibre Research and Innovation Centre, we collaborated with Deakin University to develop technologies that will produce high-quality, low-energy carbon fibre at low cost. This will allow the technology to be broadly adopted across a range of industries.
  • Using our national infrastructure in Western Australia, US collaborators detected a signal from the first stars to have emerged in the early universe about 180 million years after the moment of creation. CSIRO’s national facility in Murchison, Western Australia, is one of the most ‘radio-quiet’ sites on earth and has been selected as the site for SKA-LOW.

Deliver on commitments

  • Revenue from intellectual property increased by 35 per cent in the last year.
  • We opened the landmark $100 million collaborative research facility Synergy at the Black Mountain Science Innovation Precinct. The building provides new research capability combining the power of Data61, Land and Water, and Oceans and Atmosphere working on areas such as future crops, natural resources, climate science, and digital solutions.

Inclusion, trust and respect

  • We expanded our participation in two key government-funded, National Innovation Statement initiatives: the SAGE program, initiated by the Australian Academy of Science, and Male Champions of Change STEM, established in late 2016.
  • The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff employed at CSIRO increased from 58 in 2015–16 to 115 in 2017–18. Two per cent of our employees identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Health, safety and environment

  • Our Recordable Injury Frequency Rate has dropped by 45 per cent since 2015 and we had the fewest notifiable incidents in five years.
  • CSIRO's carbon emissions from electricity and gas consumption dropped by five per cent compared to the previous year and 11 per cent over the last five years. CSIRO's electricity-and gas-related emissions are seven per cent below the 5-year average. Electricity-related emissions fell by six per cent in 2017–18.

Ore moves through the analyser, which uses magnetic resonance radio waves to rapidly identify high quality ore from waste.

Global outlook, national benefit

  • CSIRO helped to secure export access to the European Union by proving the environmental credentials of the Australian canola industry. A $1.8 billion market for our Australian farmers.
  • We partnered with non-profit organisation Radiant.Earth to improve international disaster resilience responses, with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region, using satellite technology and Earth observation data capabilities.
  • We collaborated with the US Government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to trial our sel4 microkernel technology that maintains systems security while providing access to multiple isolated networks. The technology received a national award for research and development at the iAwards in September 2017.

Global projects by areas of business

  • Agriculture and Food (light green)
  • Energy (dark green)
  • Health and Biosecurity (orange)
  • Land and Water (ocean blue)
  • Manufacturing (blueberry blue)
  • Mineral Resources (sky blue)
  • Oceans and Atmosphere (light teal)
  • Digital National Facilities and Collections (plum)
  • Services (midnight)

Map showing colour coded global projects by areas of business

  • Agriculture and Food (light green)
  • Energy (dark green)
  • Health and Biosecurity (orange)
  • Land and Water (ocean blue)
  • Manufacturing (blueberry blue)
  • Mineral Resources (sky blue)
  • Oceans and Atmosphere(light teal)
  • Digital National Facilities and Collections (plum)
  • Services (midnight)

Global projects by areas of business.

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