Announcing the creation of two Future Science Platforms (FSPs) at the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the $27million investment would see CSIRO ramping up its research into hydrogen and precision health.
"Under our Strategy 2020 we're committed to increasing funding for science that underpins innovation and will reinvent and create new industries and jobs for Australia’s future," Dr Marshall said.
"Securing Australia's future prosperity means we have to ensure our reach exceeds our gaze, turning our big ideas into breakthrough technologies for major Australian industries.
"Today's announcement adds two new FSPs to our portfolio, which will transform two of Australia's most critical sectors- energy and health."
The creation of a Hydrogen FSP will enable the development of technologies that allow Australia to export its solar energy, as well as providing low emissions energy solutions for Australians.
"The opportunity for Australia is clear – we have access to vast energy resources through sun, wind, biomass, natural gas and coal, all of which can be used to produce hydrogen, allowing us to potentially become a leading exporter of low emission renewable energy," CSIRO Energy Director Karl Rodrigues said.
"This is not only important to ensuring Australia has a diverse mix of energy sources, but positions us to have a competitive edge in the global energy market, fueling industries from transport, to manufacturing and agriculture."
By creating a new FSP focused on Precision Health, CSIRO's Director of Health Dr Rob Grenfell said the aim was to develop tailored health solutions that enable Australians to live healthier lives for longer.
"In an era of ageing populations and escalating health costs, we need to move from a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to managing illness and look at new ways of delivering tailored food, nutrition and digital health solutions that focus on keeping people healthier for longer," Dr Grenfell said.
"Investing in this new FSP allows us to improve our understanding of how Australians think about their health, harnessing the power of big data to personalise solutions, creating new foods for health, and establishing new industries to deliver better health for all."