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CSIRO Forges New Partnerships to Nurture Tech Talent

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, is developing partnerships with more than 100 businesses and universities to fund up to 195 university student scholarships for the Next Generation Graduates programmes.

Under these partnerships, students will tackle 14 artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technology challenges from a wide range of industries including health and aged care, critical infrastructure, clean energy, quantum technology, finance and sports science.

CSIRO’s Data61 Director stated that not only is there a broad range of industries represented, but he’s also thrilled to see universities from all over Australia involved in the programme. The aim is to ensure Australia’s next wave of technology experts are drawn from rich and diverse communities across the country, he said.

AU$14m from CSIRO’s Next Generation programmes, with additional contributions from participating businesses, will fund the Honours, Masters and PhD scholarships. The 14 new challenges are in addition to the 12 challenges announced by the programme earlier this year, bringing the total number of scholarships on offer up to 360.

The multi-disciplinary nature of the Next Generation Graduates programmes set students up to have real-world impact. CSIRO’s Data61 Director stated that this unique program is important because multi-disciplinary teams will drive innovation into the future.

CSIRO has estimated that the Australian industry will need up to 161,000 new AI specialists and AI-savvy workers by 2030. The programme will build a pipeline of home-grown, job-ready graduates to unlock the immense economic opportunity offered by artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

About the Next Generation Graduates Programs

As part of the Australian Government’s Digital Economy Strategy and Artificial Intelligence Action Plan, CSIRO has been allocated funding over the next six years to deliver two Next Generation Graduates Programmes – the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Graduates Programme and the Next Generation Emerging Technologies Graduates Programme.

The agency is working in partnership with industry and universities to grow a pipeline of home-grown, job-ready graduates to unlock the immense economic opportunity offered by artificial intelligence and emerging technologies, such as robotics, cyber security, quantum computing, blockchain and data.


The aim is to build a cohort-based, industry-driven, multi-disciplinary graduate training programme. The Programs provide students with a unique opportunity to collaborate with universities and subject specialists nationwide. Students are trained to be prepared for the problem-based environments they will face upon entering their field.

Students will engage with peers nationally from varying fields and locations, collaborating on project-based activities led by industry professionals. Students share their individual research and contribute to a larger multi-disciplinary solution addressing real-world challenges. The programmes endeavour to equip our students with entrepreneurial thinking and skill sets that are key to boosting breakthrough innovation.

Artificial intelligence programs

CSIRO has awarded AU$10.9 million to 12 research training programmes led by universities around Australia. These programmes will provide generous scholarships to domestic students and allow them to be part of a multi-disciplinary team aimed at solving a real-world challenge in the field of artificial intelligence.

Emerging technologies programmes

CSIRO has awarded AU$13.5 million to 14 research training programmes led by various universities around Australia. These programmes will provide generous scholarships to domestic students and allow them to be part of a multi-disciplinary team aimed at solving a real-world challenge in emerging technologies.


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