CSIRO solves the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology

This National Science Week, we’re tackling Australia’s future industry challenge – how do we invent the industries of tomorrow, and equip our future leaders with the STEM skills needed to lead them?

On this page you’ll see how we’re inventing the industries of the future like new energy technologies, next-gen medical devices, innovative materials, machine learning and more.

Our scientists are out and about talking about their work this week, you can see a full listing of locations at the bottom of the page.

Printable solar cells that are flexible and lightweight

Our flexible solar panels provide access to clean energy - no matter where you are. If we covered half of South Australia with our best printed solar panels, we could generate enough electricity to meet the world’s power needs. Imagine the possibilities.

[Image appears of Jyothi Ramamurthy sitting at a table and talking to the camera and text appears: Jyothi Ramamurthy, Scientist]

Jyothi Ramamurthy: Hi, my name’s Jo and I’m a scientist here at CSIRO.

[Camera zooms in on Jo’s face as she talks and then zooms out to show Jo sitting behind a table again talking]

I’d like to talk to you today about flexible solar panels and what they mean for accessibility to clean energy.

[Images move through of a plant in a pot and then a solar powered model car and text appears: Making solar power available for everyone]

[Image changes to show a close-up of Jo talking to the camera again and then the camera zooms out to show Jo sitting at a desk talking]

While conventional silicon solar panels are great, they can’t be used in every situation.

[Camera zooms in on Jo’s face as she talks and then the camera zooms out to show Jo sitting behind a desk talking]

The solar technology that we’re working on here at CSIRO is a little bit different.

[Camera zooms in on Jo talking to the camera and the image shows her picking up a roll of solar film and then a sheet of solar film and then the camera zooms out again]

It’s thin, flexible, lightweight and it even comes in different colours.

[Camera zooms in on Jo talking to the camera again and then the camera zooms out on Jo talking to the camera again]

This solar film can be put on virtually any surface.

[Camera zooms in on Jo talking to the camera and then the camera zooms out to show Jo sitting behind the desk with the solar film models in front of her talking to the camera]

It can be shipped very easily out to remote Australia, for example, to power mobile phone towers that have in the past been powered by diesel.

[Camera zooms in and out several times on Jo talking to the camera and then sitting behind the desk with solar film on the desk]

Flexible solar panels are rollable so they can be integrated into equipment like tents that could be easily deployed in a disaster zone to provide emergency relief to victims.

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo and text appears on a blue screen: CSIRO, Australia’s innovation catalyst]

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Industries of the future

Win a CSIRO Megaprize pack

Wear your love of CSIRO loud and proud! Our prize pack includes CSIRO-branded jacket, keep cup, drink bottle, tote bag and reusable metal straw. It also includes a family pass to the virtual reality exhibit at our Discovery Centre in Canberra and a 12-month subscription to Double Helix magazine.

For your chance to win, tell us in 25 words or less, how you (or your kids!) would use flexible solar panels in everyday life. Good luck!

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National Science Week 2019

Science and skills to invent our future industries