Government research group CSIRO is investing $35 million in forward-looking research in space technology and artificial intelligence.
The investment will include the development of advanced imaging of Earth from satellites, in addition to cutting-edge data science to support the growth of AI technology.
The investment is part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms which aims to help reinvent old and create new industries, as well as grow the capability of a new generation of researchers.
Space technology will receive $16 million to identify and develop the science to leapfrog traditional technologies and find new areas for Australian industry.
It will focus on advanced technologies for Earth observation, space object tracking, resource utilisation in space, and developing manufacturing and life support systems for missions to the Moon and Mars.
AI and Machine learning will receive $19 million to target AI-driven solutions for food security and quality, health and wellbeing, sustainable energy and resources, resilient and valuable environments, and Australian and regional security.
The primary research areas include platforms to improve prediction and understanding of complex data; platforms to enable trustworthy inferences and risk-based decisions; and data systems to enable ethical, robust and scalable AI.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said “Our Future Science Platforms aim to turn Australia’s challenges into opportunities where new science can break through seemingly impossible roadblocks to give Australia an unfair advantages on the world stage.”
A linear idea of innovation progressing from scientific invention to commercialised product is actually a rarity, as most innovation in industry involves an entrepreneur marshalling known technologies, developing some new intellectual property and applying them to a customer issue.
However this way of CSIRO marshalling its research resources targeting industry areas is a welcome development from old science-based methods.
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