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CSIRO Invests in Future Science And Tech

Image Credits: CSIRO, Press Release

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, will invest AU$ 50 million over the next five years in four new programmes to drive critical breakthroughs in tough national challenges. The programmes are part of CSIRO’s AU$ 200 million portfolio of Future Science Platforms (FSPs), initiatives that push the boundaries of existing research through collaboration with universities and industry.

  • The Revolutionary Energy Storage SystemsFSP will reimagine Australia’s electricity grid from one designed to support fossil fuels to instead incorporate more sources of renewable power.
  • The Permanent Carbon LockingFSP will harness biology, chemistry and engineering to drive innovation in carbon capture and carbon storage science.
  • The Immune Resilience FSP will build on the accelerated understanding of human and animal immune systems gained from COVID-19 to develop technologies that prevent, protect, and respond to emerging health threats.
  • The Advanced Engineering BiologyFSP will deliver new tools to develop fast-tracked solutions for some of the most pressing challenges of this century – from food security to health and wellbeing and carbon-neutral industries.

CSIRO’s Chief Scientist Professor stated that the new FSPs will enable collaborations between industry and science, including early career researchers, to invent the cutting-edge science that will shape the future. She added that the foundational research that these four new Future Science Platforms will undertake will pave the way for innovations and catalyse new industries that will help us to better manage our health, food security, natural resources and environment in the decades to come.”

The Interim Director of the Revolutionary Energy Storage Systems FSP, said disruptive change is crucial to meeting future energy needs safely, efficiently and sustainably. He said that unlocking the secret to efficient and safe energy storage could see charge electric vehicles be charged as easily as petrol tanks are currently filled, or would mean that portable devices would stay charged for many days without the need for a top-up. On a larger scale, it could even be mimicking pumped hydro through new technology and making it more responsive to the needs of the grid.

The Director of the Permanent Carbon Locking FSP said the research would focus on accelerated atmospheric carbon removal and permanent carbon storage, and integrating these in novel ways.  If the worst impacts of climate change are to be avoided, he said, breakthroughs and innovation in permanent carbon removal from the atmosphere are needed. The future science and capability developed in this FSP have the potential to underpin new industries and reshape existing industries for Australia and beyond, with CSIRO’s science at the centre.

Interim Director of the Immune Resilience FSP said new and emerging science could enable solutions that harness immune responses to better tackle diseases. This innovative research will further unravel the complex nature of immune systems and develop new strategies to enhance immune resilience in both humans and animals, he added.

The Interim Director of the Advanced Engineering Biology FSP said developing powerful new tools for biological design and prototyping will supercharge the delivery of impactful new goods and services. The research will help deliver the 50,000 jobs and AU$ 30 billion a year that have been identified in the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Roadmap. CSIRO’s AU$ 200 million portfolio of Future Science Platforms includes 20 programmes that underpin innovation and have the potential to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia.


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