Our planning process is underpinned by a planning and implementation framework established as an annual cycle, with a four-year outlook. The framework ensures we continuously review our priorities and investments with key stakeholders, informing the next cycle.

Our corporate plan is our key strategic planning document. The plan reflects the supporting planning processes undertaken at the Enterprise and Business Unit levels and sets out how and when we will make investments to deliver on our purpose.

A graphical representation of the key planning processes and the associated output including Corporate Plan, Portfolio Budget Statements and Annual Performance Statement

Outlines our planning processes and the associated outputs.

The corporate plan is aligned to our Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) which describes our outcomes, proposed allocation of resources, and performance.

Results of our performance against the planned activities and outcomes, stated in both our corporate plan and the PBS, are provided in our Annual Report.

Our planning process

Our planning process is underpinned by a Rolling Strategic Planning & Implementation Framework (see Table 2), established as an annual cycle, with a four-year outlook. This process ensures we continuously review our strategic priorities and investments and regularly engage with our internal and external stakeholders throughout the implementation and performance assessment, to provide feedback into the next cycle.

Table 2: Rolling Strategic Planning & Implementation Framework
Stage Processes Key Outputs
Define direction
  • Executive Team and Board Strategic Reviews
  • Internal and external consultation on strategy
  • Risk assessment and review
Continuous stakeholder engagement
environmental scanning

  • Annual strategic priorities
  • Corporate Plan (4 year rolling)*
  • Organisation Risk Plan and Profile
Ongoing tracking and feedback

Plan investments
  • Development and validation of organisational 4-year budget
  • Detailed Business Unit budgeting
  • Business Unit investments and deployments
  • Approval processes through the Executive Team and Board
  • Portfolio Budget Statements*
  • Business Unit and Enterprise budgets (4 year rolling)
  • Business Unit and Enterprise Support Services Operational Plans
Execute activities
  • Implementation of Business Unit plans
  • Enterprise Support Services support activities
  • Milestone reports
  • Business Unit and project risk plans
Analyse performance
  • Quarterly reporting to the Executive Team
  • Bi-annual reporting to Board
  • Business Unit Annual Performance and Investment Reviews (APaIRS)
  • Business Unit External Reviews (3-5 years)
  • Monitoring progress reports against our corporate plan
  • Annual Performance and Investment Review Summaries
  • Business Unit External Review Reports
  • Annual Report*

* Denotes external public documents

Investment pathways to impact

We have developed an Impact Framework to enable us to plan, monitor and evaluate our activities in service of industry, government, the community and environment. The framework is used across the organisation and applies to our research, infrastructure and services investments. This allows for informed strategic decision making and a comprehensive view of the impact we will deliver, with our partners, to the world. Assessing and evidencing our impact through regular impact evaluations is a key performance indicator for CSIRO.

CSIRO categorises impacts under economic, environmental and social impacts using the master categories listed in Table 3. 

Table 3: CSIRO impact categories
Economic Environmental Social
  • National economic performance
  • Trade and competitiveness
  • Productivity and efficiency
  • Management of risk and uncertainty
  • Policies and programs
  • New services, products, experiences and market niches
  • Animal health and prosperity
  • Securing and protecting existing markets
  • Air quality
  • Ecosystem health and integrity
  • Climate
  • Natural hazards mitigation
  • Energy generation and consumption
  • Land quality
  • Aquatic environments
  • Built environments
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Access to resources, services and opportunities
  • Quality of life
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Resilience
  • Indigenous culture and heritage
  • Creativity and invention
  • Social cohesion

Investment by business area

Over the time period of this plan, we intend to invest our allocated funds in the following CSIRO business areas.

Table 4: Investment by CSIRO business area
Total expenses by CSIRO business area Budget Forward estimates









Research Business Units





CSIRO Services





National Research Infrastructure





Enterprise Support Services





Enterprise Fixed Costs





Total expenses





The impact these areas aim to deliver is as follows:

Impact science

Impact science

Agriculture and Food

Responding to the need for global food and nutritional security for the world's growing population by transforming productivity, profitability, and sustainability in Australia's food and fibre industries.

Health and Biosecurity

Addressing complex and interdependent human, animal, and environmental health and biosecurity challenges through the development and translation of innovative products and services to provide benefit both to Australia and globally.

Land and Water

Delivering innovative, evidence-based, and effective industry, policy and community-focused solutions for the sustainable development, continued stewardship, and increased resilience of Australia's ecosystems and communities.


Creating a digital innovation network across Australia to transform existing industries, and seed new industries, through the application of deep data science and technology to grow the economy and create the jobs of the future.


Working with industry across the global energy value chain to deliver Australia's low emission energy future by applying large-scale infrastructure to high-impact science to enhance Australia's economic competitiveness, and ensure regional energy security.


Developing industry-driven scientific and engineering innovations to catalyse the transition of Australian manufacturing into a globally connected, economically viable, high-technology sector, thereby creating the jobs of the future, and enhancing both export growth for, and investment in, the nation’s manufacturing industry.

Mineral Resources

Delivering innovative science and technology options for the discovery and efficient development of Australia's mineral resource endowment to enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of the Australian mineral resources sector.

Oceans and Atmosphere

Securing the future prosperity and wellbeing of Australians by delivering ocean, atmosphere, and climate knowledge, products and services, enabling informed coastal and offshore development, and supporting the increased efficiency and sustainability of the nation’s marine industries.

Future Science Platforms

Future Science Platforms

In addition to our business-as-usual impact science activities conducted over the period covered by this Plan, we will also focus investments in Future Science Platforms (FSPs). The FSP program is designed to create the scientific platforms which will underpin our future ability to deliver impact and national competitiveness from our research. The FSPs offer new opportunities for our scientists to work on discovery science in areas with strong prospects to transform industries with breakthrough solutions. The FSPs will also help increase internal and external collaboration by attracting the best students and researchers to work with us.

In 2018-19, we are standing up two new FSPs, directed towards aligning to the Innovation and Science Australia’s "National Missions" , which aim to establish large-scale initiatives that are designed to address audacious challenges:

Precision Health Future Science Platform

Will grow Australia's precision health capabilities, help to lead global advances in precision health and build a common 2030 vision for precision health across government, industry, researchers and the consumer through developing tailored health solutions that enable Australians to live healthier lives for longer.

Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform

Will create technologies for Australia to take a leading role in creating a new generation energy industry and monetise our key intractable energy assets through practical supply chain technologies and logistics.

National Facilities and Collections

National Facilities and Collections

Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)

Helping protect Australia's multi-billion dollar livestock and aquaculture industries, and the general public, from emerging infectious disease threats through the maintenance and use of a high-containment facility designed to allow scientific research into the most dangerous infectious agents in the world.

Astronomy & Space Science

Helping astronomers and the community to understand the fundamental properties of our Universe and to use them, and the technologies developed to observe them, to advance humankind.

National Collections & Marine Infrastructure

Managing and delivering terrestrial and marine scientific infrastructure, research capability, and digital information on behalf of the global research community to facilitate innovative science which delivers novel and advanced products and services which benefit Australia's people, environment, and industries.

CSIRO Services

CSIRO Services

Providing value for CSIRO's customers and the nation through effective, efficient, and future-focused innovation-enabling products and services for industry, future STEM professionals, and the broader Australian community.

ON and CSIRO Innovation Fund

ON and CSIRO Innovation Fund

Under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, we are delivering two programs that are directed to stimulating the level of translation of technology to commercialisation and ignite the spirit of entrepreneurialism in the Australian research sector:

CSIRO ON Program

Australia's sci-tech innovation accelerator, specialising in assisting researchers from the fields of science and technology working on projects that have the potential to help boost Australia’s performance in innovation. ON offers a range of accelerator services to research teams at different stages of the innovation lifecycle.

CSIRO Innovation Fund

Managed by Main Sequence Ventures, established by CSIRO, accelerates the translation of Australian publicly-funded research into commercial outcomes and stimulates innovation in Australia. The Fund invests in start-up and spin-off companies and SMEs.

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