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Mission-oriented Innovation

Mission-oriented innovation – an approach to science, technology and innovation epitomised in the 20th century by the space race – has re-emerged as a vehicle for transformational change in addressing the challenges of this century.

Once described as ‘big science solving big problems’, it is now being reimagined as a mobilisation of coordinated and sustained efforts across disciplines and sectors, incorporating a broad range of perspectives and interests, to deliver impact and build innovation system capability for the long term.

Responding to climate change and the risk of biodiversity collapse, ensuring water and food security, maintaining human health and wellbeing, addressing regional instability and tackling the decline in public trust and social cohesion are complex and interdependent challenges. The level of complexity and urgency of these challenges requires new thinking and new forms of collaboration from public institutions, industry, the research sector, civil society and the community.

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Convening missions in Australia

Inclusive engagement, partnership and collaboration

CSIRO delivers research and technology needed to address national challenges. However, missions are focused on complex problems that demand broader sociotechnical responses and capability. The missions leverage capacity across the innovation system by convening, partnering, and integrating with others to achieve holistic solutions.

They are flexible in their collaboration approach. These approaches are specified by the activities and stakeholder preferences for the problems being tackled. By being flexible, the intention is to limit barriers for engagement with those who have a critical role in building solutions.

By coming together around shared goals, we can align our efforts to achieve more than we could alone.

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