At CSIRO, we solve the greatest challenges using innovative science and technology.

Our value to the Australian economy is massive. Our proud legacy invented fast Wi-Fi, Aerogard and polymer banknotes. Today we’re helping to find the first gravitational waves in space, growing gluten-free grains, 3D-printing body parts and pioneering new renewable energy sources, just to name a few.

The estimated present value of benefits from our work is around $4.5 billion per year1. This is almost three times our total annual budget and more than four times the funding provided by the Australian Government.

This year, we worked with 1750 private industry customers, including 400 major Australian companies, more than 1060 Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), and 280 overseas corporations. For example, our collaboration with Australian company Clinical Genomics enabled the delivery of a new blood test for bowel cancer (Colvera™), which is currently in clinical trials for use in Australia and the US as a screening and early diagnostic test. As a blood test for cancer recurrence, Colvera™ was released in the US market in 2016.

We've worked with Boeing over the past 28 years, collaborating on more than 170 projects covering everything from better production methods to space science, airport modelling software and how to best repaint a plane, to more recently including new manufacturing processes and ways to keep Boeing’s workers safe. This close relationship was a key factor in the aviation company’s decision to set up one of its largest research and development facilities in Australia. Boeing now has around 3000 Australian employees. Local industry has also reaped the benefits with more than $336 million in Boeing related exports. In 2017, we were named a Boeing ‘Supplier of the Year’ in the technology category.

With more than 1800 patents, we are Australia’s largest patent holder. This ever-increasing wealth of intellectual property is a vast source of commercial opportunity and has already resulted in more than 150 spin-off companies, with many more to come.

For around a century we have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible in science and technology. But it’s tomorrow’s innovations that excite us – wearable technology that alerts a doctor when you are sick, diets based on your DNA and so much more.

We've established six new Future Science Platforms as an investment in science to underpin innovation. The Future Science Platforms are designed to provide researchers with resources and opportunities to explore new scientific areas. These have the potential to reinvent and create new industries for Australia by developing new capability in leading-edge, interdisciplinary science.

With more than 5000 experts based in 59 centres, extensive local and international networks, and a burning desire to get things done, we are Australia’s catalyst for innovation and a global force in transforming imagination into reality.

Everything we do is focused on creating measurable economic, environmental and social benefits that better our world and Australia’s place in it.

Our formation

We're an Australian Government corporate entity, with a Board and Chief Executive. We're constituted by and operate under the provisions of the Science and Industry Research Act 1949 , which sets out our functions and powers, as well as those of our Minister, Board and Chief Executive. The governance, performance and accountability of our operations, including the use and management of public resources are set out in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and related rules.

The Science and Industry Research Act 1949 defines our purpose and the functions we undertake for the benefit of Australia:

  • To carry out scientific research for any of the following purposes:
    • Assisting Australian industry;
    • Furthering the interests of the Australian community;
    • Contributing to the achievement of Australian national objectives or the performance of the national and international responsibilities of the Commonwealth; and
    • Any other purpose determined by the Minister;
  • To encourage or facilitate the application or utilisation of the results of such research.

Our secondary functions include international scientific liaison, training of research workers, publication of research results, technology transfer of other research, provision of scientific services and dissemination of information about science and technology.

We operate through three lines of business:

  • Impact science: Nine national research business units with focus on the biggest challenges facing the nation.
  • National Facilities and Collections: We manage infrastructure and biological collections for the benefit of research and industry.
  • CSIRO Services: Commercial, customer-centric products and services for industry, government and the community.

CSIRO. We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.


  1. CSIRO Annual Report 2018-19 - About us

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