Identifying emerging opportunities and developing strategies to achieve them
CSIRO Futures is the strategic and economic advisory arm of CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.1 Futures brings together science, technology, and economics to identify emerging opportunities and develop strategies that achieve them. Leveraging both their own expertise and the broader network and capabilities within CSIRO, the team provides strategic advisory services to public and private customers.
The National Hydrogen Roadmap
One case of CSIRO Futures’ work focuses on the National Hydrogen Roadmap. CSIRO Futures and collaborators from CSIRO’s energy research team sensed the potential for hydrogen to be a near-term economic driver for Australia, noting market shifts and technological advances in hydrogen’s favour. The Roadmap became a catalysing document that accelerated the pace of policies, investments, and actions in Australia following its publication. Hydrogen industry experts interviewed for this work noted its domestic significance for the National Hydrogen Strategy and associated investment programs as well as for the hydrogen strategies for other countries which leveraged the Roadmap’s framework and ideas.
Catalysing action and investment into solving big problems
The case of the National Hydrogen Roadmap exemplifies the role CSIRO Futures plays in strategic planning, especially in efforts related to broad-based market action. In this context, Futures generated economic and social value by
- recognising the need and opportunity for a market-focused roadmap;
- establishing a neutral, precompetitive forum for the exchange of ideas and information;
- convening diverse stakeholders from industry, government, and academia;
- producing higher quality, more timely information than otherwise would have been possible;
- avoiding duplication of effort by stakeholders who may have acted individually or in smaller groups;
- reducing asymmetries in information between market participants;
- accelerating public- and private-sector initiatives and policies to address the market opportunity during a window of opportunity;
- catalysing action and investment and increasing the probability of success.