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Foreword by the Chairman

image of David Thodey, Chair of the CSIRO BoardChairman of the CSIRO Board, Mr David Thodey AO

There’s never been a more important time for Australia to think differently about our future. As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO is building on a century of delivering national benefit to deliver innovative solutions that protect our quality of life, our economic health, our environmental sustainability, and our position in a globally competitive world.

Our cutting-edge science and application of technology, the passion of our diverse people, and our innovative thinking are focused on solving the greatest challenges. I am proud to have experienced the many achievements of CSIRO this year.

We are one of the world’s largest mission-driven multidisciplinary science and research organisations. We focus on every aspect of Australia’s priorities – from agriculture, to manufacturing, data technology, the environment and much more. Examples highlighted in this annual report include sustainable wheat farming, drought conservation, reducing waste in copper production, protecting precious wildlife species, and applying emerging new technologies like machine learning to amplify the pace and scale of our impact.

In June, we partnered with the National Australia Bank to publish the Australian National Outlook 2019 (ANO), with the participation of more than 50 leaders from over 20 organisations. The ANO offers two scenarios – a bleak vision if we don’t change our current activities, and a bright vision of the future if we seize the opportunities offered by science and technology to build a future with prosperous and globally competitive industries, inclusive and enabling communities, and sustainable natural endowments. It has started an important and timely conversation in Australia about how we act now to build the future we want.

Our people are committed to unlocking a better future for everyone and are the driving force behind all that we do.

The Board and I were pleased to meet with CSIRO people and partners during our Board visits to sites including Perth, Canberra, Eveleigh, Newcastle and Lindfield over the past 12 months. We were especially pleased to meet with Newcastle-based business and CSIRO partner, Puzzle Precision, whose sophisticated electronic circuit boards are being used inside the world’s fastest survey radio telescope, the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in Western Australia.

Our more than 3,300 customers this year are critical to our ability to translate science into solutions for Australia.

This annual report tells many stories of the value we’re delivering to our partners and customers across industry and business, government and the research community, as well as to every Australian. I want to thank the CSIRO team for their commitment and dedication to fulfilling the purpose of our organisation. I’m honoured to be part of Australia’s national science agency as we continue our work to make life better for every Australian.

david thodey's signature

Mr David Thodey AO
Chairman of the CSIRO Board