In response to an article in The Australian on 15th November 2019 entitled “CSIRO’s China projects subject to risk panel”, CSIRO has provided the following.

All contracts the CSIRO enters in to, in all countries, follow due diligence guidelines and are subject to risk and contract approval procedures. To single out China is disingenuous.

CSIRO periodically reviews the guidelines and procedures (again, for all countries) to ensure improvements, where necessary, are made.

The article also implies that the CSIRO's Major Transaction Committee (MTC) was recently set up, and was done so as a result of "heightened awareness over foreign influence". This is incorrect. In fact the committee for this purpose was established in 2001 for all proposals which exceed financial or risk thresholds. The terms of reference for this committee are available publicly on This applies to all major transactions both domestic and international.

CSIRO's Intellectual Property (IP) Principles are publicly available on In addition, CSIRO routinely includes IP protection provisions in all relevant contracts (domestic and international). For major partnerships, it is typical to have a steering committee in place with oversight of project and IP arrangements.

CSIRO has been successfully partnering with China for over 40 years and will continue to do so. CSIRO, through these partnerships and research collaborations, will continue to deliver great science not only for the benefit of Australia and all Australians, but for millions of people around the globe.

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Huw Morgan

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