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CSIRO and India to Partner on Multiple Tech Projects

A CNC laser metal cutting tool in operation. Plasma or laser cutting tools are used to cut metals with precision at high speeds. Note, ghosting and motion blur due very high velocity of movement.

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, will partner with India to tackle shared COVID-19 economic recovery opportunities including critical metals, green steel, waste reduction, water security and food system resilience. CSIRO will receive $43.2 million in funding to support the research.

The Chief Executive of CSIRO stated that global challenges require global solutions. Both Australia and India have strong advanced technology, science and innovation sectors. This partnership is an immense opportunity to combine the two nations’ diverse perspectives to build an innovation-led future and work together to deliver a strong post-COVID-19 recovery.

He added that CSIRO has already had tremendous success in facilitating and collaborating with industry to fast-track cutting-edge research and technology into real-world outcomes, and they want to replicate this success with India.

The partnerships will run over five years and include:

  • The India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge will tackle environmental and economic challenges (such as waste reduction, water security and food system resilience) by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs to launch innovative technology solutions. Modelled on CSIRO’s innovation program, this partnership will help scale around 20 cutting edge Australian and Indian innovations each year. This program will help develop the skills needed to fast-track their technology and ideas into the market at pace. This Partnership has been built off the success of the recent India-Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) hackathon.
  • The India-Australia Critical Minerals Research Partnership will strengthen supply chains, add value to Australian exports, and work with India to commercialise critical minerals technology. It will contribute to diversified, resilient, and responsible supply chains, creating new jobs and industries for Australia and India. It will integrate Indian scientific, industry and government partners with CSIRO’s developing Critical Energy Metals Mission on the challenge of resourcing the renewable energy transition. This partnership will help to unlock the commercial benefits of integrating Indian and Australian critical minerals value chains, by proving the commerciality of CSIRO-owned critical mineral processing Intellectual Property in the Indian and Australian contexts.
  • The India-Australia Green Steel Partnership will support innovative technologies and export diversification pathways to deliver jobs of the future to the resources sector in the transition to a low emissions economy. The partnership will leverage CSIRO’s relationships with the Australian industry and the Indian Government and Indian industry to support the commercialisation of innovative Australian and Indian technology to improve efficiencies and environmental outcomes in steel production. This partnership will help India meet its growing steel requirements, deliver on our shared vision for lowering emissions and help diversify Australian exports.  The Partnership will integrate Indian partners with CSIRO’s Towards Net Zero Mission on the pathway of a lower-carbon economy.

More details about the commitments announced today will be shared over the coming months.

This announcement follows a recent Federal Government commitment of $50 million over three years to establish the National Critical Minerals Research and Development Centre, which will draw together expertise from CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. This Centre will build Australian capability to help unlock new sources of economically viable critical minerals and diversify supply chains of strategic interest to Australia.

CSIRO’s Executive Director of Growth regarding the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge said that combining CSIRO’s expertise in commercialising scientific breakthroughs with India’s thriving innovation ecosystem and advanced technology capabilities the partnership will look to create real-world social, economic and environmental solutions.

CSIRO’s Executive Manager of Global regarding the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge commented that through joint research and innovation with industry, institutions and government, CSIRO aims to create solutions and impact across multiple challenge areas including waste reduction, water security and food system resilience.

The Director of Mineral Resources at CSIRO stated, in regards to the India-Australia Critical Minerals Research Partnership, that the partnership supports innovation collaboration in a key area: both Australia and India consider several critical minerals (such as lithium, graphite, titanium, and vanadium) as mutually important.

He noted that both countries are aligned on the need for new mineral discoveries, recovery of critical minerals, value adds production opportunities and to support growth in low carbon technologies. Both countries are looking to enhance SME engagement in the resources sector and opportunities for technology translation.

Finally, CSIRO’s Research Director, Mineral Processing, commented on the India-Australia Green Steel Partnership and said that Australia and India face similar raw material challenges as the world seeks to decarbonise steel production. By solving these challenges together, Australia and India can accelerate the development of the ‘green steel’ industry and ultimately make a significant contribution to lowering global greenhouse gas emissions.

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