Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, will work with the government, universities, industry and the community, on a new programme of missions designed to bolster Australia’s COVID-19 recovery and build long term resilience.

Some of the initiatives in the programme may suggest a change of heart from the Australian Government around key areas such as a technology-driven roadmap to zero emissions, renewable-powered hydrogen generation, a national climate agency and the elimination of plastic waste.

The programme of large scale, major scientific and collaborative research initiatives, will be aimed at solving some of Australia’s greatest challenges, focused on outcomes that lead to positive impact, new jobs and economic growth.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the collaboration and goodwill stimulated by the response to COVID-19 can be harnessed and used to accelerate recovery, create new jobs and stimulate the economy.

“While COVID-19 will continue to disrupt, Australia will come together through this crisis and build a strong future in the process. We are calling for partners to join this Team Australia approach to solving what seem like unsolvable problems,” Dr Marshall said.

CSIRO will direct $A100 million annually to the co-creation of missions, working with the brightest minds across the research sector and industry, to help Australia achieve outcomes including:

* Increase resilience & preparedness against pandemics
* Mitigate the impact of disasters: drought, bushfires and floods
* Create a hydrogen industry to generate a new clean energy export industry
* Accelerate the transition to agile manufacturing for higher revenue and sovereign supply
* Overcome resistance to antibiotics, so they keep saving lives
* Create a national climate platform to navigate climate change uncertainty
* Help farmers overcome drought, mitigate climate impacts, increase yield and profitability, create a sustainable Future Protein Industry and leverage the world’s love of Australian-grown food to collectively drive trusted agriculture and food exports to $100 billion
* Use technology to navigate Australia’s transition to net zero emissions, without derailing our economy
* Safeguard the health of our waterways by monitoring the quality of water resources from space
* Create new industries that transform raw mineral commodities into unique higher-value products like critical energy metals that build Australia’s value-added offering, jobs, and sovereign supply
* End plastic waste by reinventing the way plastic is made, processed and recycled
* Double the number of small and medium businesses (SMEs) benefitting from Australian science to become a collaboration nation.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed CSIRO’s continued commitment to solving real-world problems.

“Science and technology are our greatest tools when it comes to maximising opportunities and addressing the challenges that face Australia at this time of great upheaval,” Minister Andrews said.

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