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Issue 7: March 2023

From the Director

A female researcher wearing a long dress and blazer smiles standing next to a scientific poster. She is in a conference room and is wearing a lanyard.
The RI FSP's Dr Rebecca Coates at Quantum Australia 2023 earlier this year.

Welcome to the latest from CSIRO’s Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform (RI FSP).

In this first newsletter for 2023, I am pleased to share a host of new research that demonstrates how responsible innovation is becoming embedded in the way we work at CSIRO. We're contributing to diverse science and technology portfolios and delivering benefit for Australians across all aspects of our lives.

Mission-driven science, including through CSIRO’s Mission program similarly aims to create value for all Australians through research programs designed to tackle Australia’s greatest challenges. But what would it mean to bring responsible innovation to our mission driven science portfolio? A new paper led by Dr Simon Fielke has brought responsible innovation and mission-oriented innovation together to find out what value can be created by combining these approaches.

Hydrogen energy technologies promise to deliver immense benefits to Australians in the energy transition. But like any new industry, this comes with potential challenges. Dr Mitch Scovell has led new research with our Hydrogen Energy FSP on what the Australian public think about hydrogen energy right across the supply chain - not just how it is used but also its production, storage and transport. I am also delighted Mitch has been invited to share this research at the next International Association of Impact Assessment conference in Malaysia this May in a special session on global technology assessment for impact.

Our team has also been applying responsible innovation to the field of healthcare. In partnership with our Transformational Bioinformatics program, Dr Yuwan Malakar has led new research on patient ownership of genomic data in Australia. The research explores balancing advances in medical science with improved healthcare outcomes and patient privacy to examine what is required to build a more digitally literate health system.

And in exploring the coming transformations that quantum technologies will pose for industry, government and all Australians, a team of Data61 researchers led by Dr Rebecca Coates has worked with cybersecurity experts and professionals to understand the technical and ethical risks posed by quantum computing. The team had the opportunity to share their research at Quantum Australia 2023 in Sydney earlier this year.

In other news, I had the opportunity to join a global discussion on the future of responsible innovation as part of our collaboration with the Austrian Institute of Technology in February. It has been wonderful to see more of our researchers also heading out to share their findings at conferences both domestically and internationally again. You can enjoy Yuwan’s personal reflections on his recent experience attending the US Society for Risk analysis conference.

Thank you for your continued support.

Dr Justine Lacey

RI FSP Director

Helping to prepare for quantum’s cybersecurity threat

What are the technical and ethical challenges Australia is likely to encounter in a quantum computing world? A team of researchers led by the RI FSP’s DR REBECCA COATES spoke to cybersecurity experts and professionals to better understand these issues.

H2GO: Are Australians on board with hydrogen?

With the hydrogen industry still in the early stages of development, community acceptance will be crucial to whether it succeeds. A new CSIRO report led by DR MITCH SCOVELL examines public attitudes around this technology right across its supply chain.