Conduct, and encourage the uptake of, world-class scientific research.

CSIRO relies on excellent science to deliver benefits to industry, society and the environment, and we don’t do this alone. In collaboration with our research and industry partners and strategic investments, we help translate scientific discoveries into practical applications for the world.

We work to achieve this purpose through three Functions:

  • 1.1: Provide and facilitate uptake of excellent scientific and technology solutions to deliver impact to the nation.
  • 1.2: Connect to global science, technology and innovation to access new opportunities for Australian innovation.
  • 1.3: Manage funding for industrial scientific research activities and assist industry through research collaboration and capacity building.
Function 1.1: Provide and facilitate uptake of excellent scientific and technology solutions to deliver impact to the nation.

Key activities

  • Conduct scientific research aligned to key national and global challenges and encourage or facilitate the application or utilisation of the results.
  • Focus scientific resources and efforts, including establishing multidisciplinary teams, around key national challenges.
  • Embed a rigorous impact and investment planning, monitoring and evaluation framework.
  • Continually develop and improve the end to end customer experience and our capacity to deliver innovative solutions.
  • Establish collaborations and multidisciplinary research partnerships (with public and private sector organisations, other Publicly Funded Research Agencies, universities and schools) to integrate the best solution for our customers.
  • Increase our contribution to the mobility and exchange of people and know-how.
  • Provide products, technical and advisory services to industry and government including professional consulting and testing facilities.
  • Invest in frontier science that to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia via the Future Science Platform program.

Outcomes

  • Australian industries improve their competitiveness through the application of new technologies and solutions.
  • The application of research benefits the Australian economy, society and environment.
  • The provision of timely advice, information and specific solutions that inform and protect society and the environment.
  • New knowledge and solutions available to/utilised by academia, government and customers.
  • Deeper relationships with universities and other research organisations which enhance Australia’s innovation capacity.
  • CSIRO has a reputation for world-class, pioneering research.

Performance and targets* against the outcomes

Performance Criteria 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

Demonstrate triple-bottom line impacts through:

  • Assessment of the quality of impact from independent Business Unit Reviews
  • An external ‘Value of CSIRO Impact Assessment’ every two years
  • Externally validated impact case studies
  • 80% against performance criteria rating (either benchmark or strong)
  • N/A (benefit cost ratio conducted every 2 years)
  • Minimum of 6 externally validated impact case studies
  • 80% against performance criteria rating (either benchmark or strong)
  • Benefit cost ratio 5:1
  • Minimum of 6 externally validated impact case studies

As per 2019-20

As per 2018-19

Customer satisfaction

Customer Net Promoter Score +18

Customer Net Promoter Score +20

As per 2019-20

As per 2019-20

Public perception of CSIRO

Increase positive public perception of CSIRO to 80%

As per 2018-19

As per 2019-20

As per 2019-20

Feedback received from universities involved in the ON program

Maintain willingness to recommend at 80% (highly recommend)

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

Normalised citation rate relative to global average performance

Maintain at top quartile of Australian universities & >50% above global average

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

Strategic innovation investment

(including future science platforms and central competitive funds)

Increase by $30m to $62m

Increase by $40m to $72m

As per 2019-20

As per 2019-20

* CSIRO is currently undertaking a review of all performance measures. An updated set of metrics and targets will be finalised for the 2019-20 Corporate Plan.

Function 1.2: Connect to global science, technology and innovation to access new opportunities for Australian innovation

CSIRO subsidiaries play a critical part in our ability to meet our purpose. CSIRO has an offshore representation (science laboratory and corporate) in North and South America (US and Chile), Europe (Montpelier) and South East Asia (Singapore) to support CSIRO’s global engagement. Our international presence aims to enhance our support to staff in order to build and deepen relationships, boost commercialisation pathways and access new markets – ultimately for national benefit.

Key activities

  • Undertake international activities that ensure connectivity, participation and leadership opportunities for CSIRO.
  • Establish sustainable presence in three key regions – USA and South East Asia established.
  • Develop and manage Australian Government (DFAT, Austrade) and offshore non-commercial networks and partnerships for impact and national benefit to Australia (science institutions, NGOs, multilaterals).

International offices are to:

  • promote research partnerships that create innovative solutions for the current and future challenges of Australian industry.
  • support and develop strong relationships with global organisations that provide opportunities for accessing new markets and commercialisation.
  • provide market intelligence and insights for CSIRO and the benefit of Australian industry.

Outcomes

  • Operations and partnerships allow greater value to be captured for Australian research and innovation.
  • Accelerate our overall rates of international engagement, operations and collaboration where there is a high potential impact value return and national benefit to Australia.

Performance and targets* against the outcomes

Performance Criteria 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

Evidence of triple-bottom line impacts from global activities, with demonstrated benefits to Australia

Minimum of 6 externally validated impact case studies

20% growth on number of impact case studies conducted each year

As per 2019-20

As per 2019-20

Establishing new, significant and strategic level MOUs

8 negotiated per year

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

* CSIRO is currently undertaking a review of all performance measures. An updated set of metrics and targets will be finalised for the 2019-20 Corporate Plan.

Function 1.3: Manage funding for industrial scientific research activities and assist industry through research collaboration and capacity building

CSIRO uses two subsidiaries to deliver against this Function:

  • CSIRO Innovation Fund
  • Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF)

In addition, the latest subsidiary of CSIRO is National ICT Australia (NICTA). NICTA is not a vehicle for delivery against this Function. NICTA became a controlled entity of CSIRO in August 2015, and is operating to hold intellectual property and commercialise research related to strategic information and communications technology (ICT) research.

CSIRO Innovation Fund
As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) announced by the Australian Government in December 2015, CSIRO has established the CSIRO Innovation Fund to invest in the development of early stage technology opportunities from the public research sector, to increase their translation into commercial opportunities to be taken up by Australian industry.

Key activities

  • Invest in start-up and spin off companies, existing SMEs engaged in translation of research, and company formation opportunities to support business grow and support a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia.
  • Focus investments in opportunities that bring forward the commercialisation of research based solutions aligned with Government’s Science and Research Priorities, and priority industry sectors as currently articulated via Growth Centres.
  • Source investment proposals from universities, Publicly Funded Research Agencies and their partners, including small to medium sized organisations.

Outcomes

Australian industries maintain and improved their competitiveness through the application of new technologies and solutions.

Performance and targets against the outcomes

Performance Criteria 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

Pipeline of investable propositions from the CSIRO Innovation Fund 1, LP from publically funded research institutions

As least 5 investable propositions pursued

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

SIEF
The SIEF was established by the Science and Industry Endowment (SIEF) Act 1926, for the purpose of supporting scientific and industrial research for the benefit of Australia and its people. The SIEF makes strategic investments in scientific research that addresses issues of national priority for Australia.

Key activities

  • The Experimental Development Program to address a gap in existing funding options available for progressing experimental research and technology development to a stage where it attracts commercial investment and market uptake.
  • The STEM + Business Fellowship program to build deeper connections and collaborations between researchers and SMEs, accelerating the adoption of new ideas and technologies and giving early career researchers practical, on-ground experience with industry.
  • The Research Infrastructure Program invests in major facilities and equipment to increase the capacity for nationally significant and collaborative research. The Medium Equipment Program aims to facilitate ground breaking scientific research and to build scientific capability by investing in specialised medium-scale instruments.

Outcomes

  • Australian industries maintain and improved their competitiveness through the application of new technologies and solutions.
  • Deliver economic, social and environmental benefit to Australia against national challenges and opportunities.
  • Strong, innovative research partnerships.
  • The research community has access to research infrastructure.

Performance and targets against the outcomes

Performance Criteria 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

Evidence of outcomes and impacts of SIEF funded projects

Minimum of 2 case studies

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

Proportion of SIEF research projects involving more than one organisation

>94% of projects involve more than one organisation

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

N/A. Minimal projects remaining beyond 2020-21

Utilisation of the SIEF funded research infrastructure

>60% operational time used

20% usage in collaborative projects

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

N/A. Minimal projects remaining beyond 2020-21

Technologies receiving ongoing commercialisation support from venture capital or industry sources after one year of completing the SIEF Experimental Development Program

Minimum of 1 case study of a technology receiving ongoing commercial support

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

Number of projects where additional SIEF STEM+ Business Fellowships are spent on research between the company and the STEM+ Fellow’s host research team or with others

12 projects

As per 2018-19

As per 2018-19

N/A. Minimal projects remaining beyond 2020-21

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