Our strategy directs how we will achieve our purpose and comprises our objectives and outcomes. We are guided by strategic pillars as the key areas for how we deliver our science to meet our purpose and vision.

The Lucinda Jetty

Our objectives

Our objectives are the primary activities to deliver our purpose:

  • Conducting and encouraging the uptake of world‑class scientific research.
  • Mobilising and developing the best talent, for the benefit of Australia.
  • Managing national research infrastructure for the nation.
  • Ensure the sustainability of CSIRO.

Our strategic pillars

These core areas defined in our Corporate Plan 2018–19 guide our operations and bring our purpose, vision and strategy to life:

  • Customer first: creating deeper innovation relationships with our customers and prioritising the highest impact investments.
  • Collaboration: integrating the best solutions for our customers, increasing our flexibility, and enhancing Australia's innovation performance.
  • Breakthrough innovation: increasing our capacity to help reinvent existing industries and create new industries for Australia and deliver public good.
  • Global engagement, national benefit: delivering connectivity to the global science, technology and innovation frontier as well as accessing new markets for Australian innovation.
  • Excellent science: creating breakthrough technology and knowledge and being a trusted advisor for Australia.
  • Our people: enabling and supporting the innovative capacity of our creative people and teams to take risks and deliver to customers.
  • Health, safety and environment: enhancing staff safety and wellbeing and to further our aspirations towards zero harm.
  • Adaptiveness: enhancing our agility, financial sustainability and capacity to respond at the speed of business.

The Great Barrier Reef is a global icon and home to a wealth of marine biodiversity. Recently, our scientists have been collecting data about the reef's physical and biological processes to sustain and protect this treasured icon.

Solving the greatest challenges

Solving the greatest challenges has never been more important – for our quality of life, for the economy and for our environment. We identified these challenges as the areas of greatest importance to Australians: the air we breathe, the land we grow, the water we drink, the food we eat and the life we live. How we're solving these challenges aligns with and contributes to addressing the Australian Government's Science and Research Priorities.

1. Food security and quality

Achieving sustainable regional food security and growing Australia's share of premium AgriFood markets.

  • We tackled the issue of improving wheat yields and profitability using a multidisciplinary farming systems approach to produce more food sustainably for an increasing population using limited resources.
  • We developed the world’s first scientifically-tested management procedure for southern bluefin tuna to set global catch limits that reduce the risk of extinction.
  • We launched fishIDER (fish Identification Database and Educational Resource), a website and online training tool that helps to identify important food fish species in Indonesia, including tuna, billfish and sharks.

2. Health and wellbeing

Enhancing health for all through preventative, personalised, biomedical and digital health services.

  • We launched the Future of Health report which details what’s needed to keep Australia's health system efficient, equitable and affordable.
  • We worked with Australian Plant Proteins Pty Ltd to develop a more advanced and efficient manufacturing process that produces a plant-based protein powder using faba beans.

3. Resilient and valuable environments

Enhancing the resilience, sustainable use and value of our environments.

  • We collected data about the Great Barrier Reef's physical and biological processes to sustain and protect this treasured icon.
  • We used data science to combat the impact of drought and created the National Drought Map. The map uses Data61's TerriaJS platform, building on our deep strength in mapping and visualising data in 3-D and 4-D.
  • Through field studies and desktop analyses, we investigated land suitability in Northern Australia for irrigation and aquaculture, as well as water storage and capture options to understand the scale and nature of future development opportunities.
  • As part of the National Rabbit Biocontrol Monitoring Program, we developed and implemented near real-time diagnostic tests to monitor the spread and impact of the different types of virus in the landscape.

4. Sustainable energy and resources

Building regional energy and resource security while lowering emissions.

  • We extracted ultra-high purity hydrogen from ammonia and powered two fuel cell vehicles.
  • Renewable energy start-up Evergen, in partnership with AMP Capital, was named winner of the CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award for pioneering the concept of a virtual power station, combining predictive control with battery and solar technology with benefits to consumers and electricity system operators.
  • We developed the world's most advanced sensor system for large-scale ore sorting to rapidly determine ore quality (grade) in order to reject large volumes of waste rock before it enters the plant for processing.

5. Future industries

Creating Australia's future industries and jobs by collaborating to boost innovation performance and STEM skills.

  • We collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria and used flow chemistry, the latest development in chemical processing, to create a new varnish that will protect paintings from ageing.
  • We developed two new Future Science Platforms to plan for Australia's future: Space Technologies, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

6. A secure Australia and region

Safeguarding Australia from risks such as war, terrorism, pandemics, disasters and cyber-attacks.

  • We released the Australian National Outlook 2019 with the National Australia Bank and our report participants. This second iteration explored how Australia can have a future with prosperous and globally competitive industries.
  • We collaborated with international institutions to develop a vaccine and improve our diagnostic testing for African swine fever to help control the disease and ensure Australia is prepared should it reach our shores.

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