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By  Tess Corkish 15 August 2023 3 min read

Key points

  • National Science Week 2023 celebrates innovation and powering future industries.
  • As Australia's national science agency, we're working to solve the greatest challenges using innovative science and technology.
  • From the ground to the sky, here are five examples of how we're powering future industries.

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. This year’s theme is Innovation: Powering Future Industries.

From our Missions program to help solve the greatest challenges, to the work our scientists do every day, innovation is an integral part of Australia’s national science agency.

Here are five ways we’ve been powering future industries in 2023.

Water quality from space

HydraSpectra water sensor mounted on a buoy at Lake Tuggeranong in Canberra, where we are monitoring for toxic blue green algae blooms.

Australia's water resources support communities, industries and the environment across the country. We're working to help safeguard freshwater and coastal resources in Australia and around the world.

We're building a system to one day provide Australians with access to real-time information about the water quality at their favourite spots, as well as an early warning system for any potential issues. This technology is emerging from our new AquaWatch Australia Mission, an initiative started with Foundation Partner, SmartSat CRC.

AquaWatch is like a weather service for water quality. It will be the world’s first continental scale ground-to-space water quality monitoring system. As well as the benefits for recreation, it will allow environmental managers and Traditional Owners to monitor and manage sites of important ecological and cultural significance. It could allow water managers to shut down intake of town water before a contamination event occurs. Aquaculture businesses could move fish pens or harvest oysters before a toxic algal bloom arrives.

From the ground up

More productive, healthy and resilient soil can provide multiple benefits for farmers.

More than 25 per cent of our planet’s biodiversity and 95 per cent of the world’s food comes from soil and soil organisms. It’s the backbone of our food security.

Australian National Soil Information System (ANSIS) brings together soil data from across Australia, connecting multiple data sources to provide access to nationally consistent soil data and information. It’s equipping farmers, policymakers and researchers with the data and information they need to better manage, restore, and protect Australia’s soils.

Creating responsible AI

We're enabling best practice of responsible AI for Australian business.

A massive upsurge in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies has brought ethics to the forefront of AI development.

AI is expected to be worth $22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030. But poorly developed AI solutions can have serious consequences, from data and privacy breaches to ethical issues.

CSIRO’s Data61 is home to one of the largest groups of researchers in the country working on responsible AI. We focus on everything, from developing best practices to operationalising risk assessment, and helping businesses to adopt AI responsibly.

The Responsible AI Network, part of the National AI Centre, is a world-first program to support Australian companies in using and creating AI ethically and safely. The network is centred around seven core pillars: Law, Standards, Principles, Governance, Leadership, Design and Technology.

The network is the gateway for Australia’s industries to uplift its practice of responsible AI. It brings together a national community of practice, guided by world-leading expert partners, and empowers Australian businesses with best practice guidance, tools and learning modules.

Increasing the Indigenous workforce

Butchulla woman and Research Technician on the Indigenous Jobs Map Project, Shanae Burns with the Indigenous Jobs Map.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are making extraordinary contributions to Australia across cultural, economic and scientific domains.

We’re helping to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples representation in the Australian workforce.

The Indigenous Jobs Map uses AI-powered analytics to identify misalignment between employers seeking to recruit Indigenous talent and the profile of the Indigenous workforce.

The map is a collation of big data, served on a free online platform, to help employers match their recruitment strategies to the career paths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander job seekers and students.

Taking sustainability to the skies

Together with Boeing, we're charting a path for future SAF production to help decarbonise the aviation sector.

Aviation is one of the most challenging industries to decarbonise, contributing 2.5 per cent of the world’s total carbon. As countries race to meet their net zero emissions targets, global interest and investment in sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) is increasing.

We’ve developed the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Roadmap in partnership with Boeing Australia. Australia is very well placed to develop a diversified portfolio of feedstocks for a domestic sustainable aviation fuel industry. There is enough feedstock to supply almost five billion litres of SAF production in Australia in 2025.

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