The National Science Foundation (NSF) Global Centers Program is an ambitious initiative to fund international, interdisciplinary collaborative research centers that will apply best practices of broadening participation and community engagement to develop use-inspired/applied research on climate change and clean energy, leading to foreseeable benefits to society.
This Program will prioritise research collaborations which foster team science, community-engaged research, and use knowledge-to-action frameworks. The research aims to maximize the benefits of international, interdisciplinary collaborations.
As the national science agency, CSIRO has an important role to play in connecting and strengthening the Australian innovation ecosystem, ensuring we are equipped to meet our biggest challenges for the future. This means harnessing global networks and facilitating opportunities for collaborative research across industry, government and science organisations.
Through the NSF Global Centers, Australian researchers will join with partners in the US and other countries to mitigate climate change impacts and develop clean energy solutions.
Participating countries and agencies
The Global Centers Program is a collaboration between the US National Science Foundation (NSF), CSIRO, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Together, these countries have pledged more than A$118 million in investment in the NSF Global Centers program over five years to tackle challenges posed by climate change as the world moves towards net zero. The total funding from CSIRO will be at a maximum of A$7 million over five years for Australian participants in the Global Centers. Australian participation, through CSIRO, is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).
Two projects earmarked by the multi-national collaboration are being steered by Australian innovations:
1) Electric Power Innovation for a Carbon-free Society (EPICS) Centre:
- Australian collaborators: CSIRO (lead), University of Melbourne (PI), Monash University
- International collaborators: US, UK
2) Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre
- Australian collaborators: University of Adelaide (lead), Flinders University, Curtin University
- International collaborators: US, Canada, UK, Egypt, Germany
- Proposal deadline U.S. Wednesday 10 May, 2023 (Thursday, 11 May, 2023 AEST).
- Announcement of approved Centers US Monday 18 September, 2023 (Tuesday 19 September, 2023 AEST)
- Center activities anticipated to begin January 2024.
Global Centers selection criteria for Australian applicants
General information about the selection criteria for all applicants was available via the NSF website.
The CSIRO Missions Program seeks to solve society’s greatest challenges through science and technology, and by connecting, convening and collaborating across our innovation system. To ensure that Australia’s participation in the Global Centers achieves maximum impact we requested Global Center proposals that complement and deliver on the objectives of one of our clean energy and climate change related Missions.
Specifically applications involving an Australian participant had to align with one of the following CSIRO Mission related themes:
- Pathways to Net Zero
- Net Zero Regional Transitions
- Reducing Methane Emissions
- Integrated Energy Systems Intelligence
- Critical Energy Minerals and Energy Storage
- Scaling Clean Hydrogen Markets
Australian-based applicants were advised to consult the CSIRO Global Centers: Use-Inspired Research Addressing Global Challenges in Climate Change and Clean Energy Program Guidelines April 2023 PDF (404 KB) for additional requirements specific to Australian-based applicants.