CSIRO is investing $35 million in frontier research in space technology and artificial intelligence.
The investment will include the development of advanced imaging of Earth from satellites and data science to support the growth of AI technology.
The investment is part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms (FSP) portfolio, aimed at dedicating research to new and emerging opportunities for Australia. They aim to help reinvent old and create new industries, as well as grow the capability of a new generation of researchers through specially-created student places in these ‘future’ fields.
Space technology will receive $16 million to identify and develop the science to leapfrog traditional technologies and find new areas for Australian industry to work in.
“The new CSIRO Space Technology FSP will build on CSIRO’s existing space-related activities, with a focus on cross-disciplinary opportunities and deep industry collaboration,” Dr Sarah Pearce, Deputy Director, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, said.
“Our initial focus will be on technologies for observing Earth from space and dealing with this data. We’re also going to look at areas such as development of space object tracking, in-situ resource utilisation, manufacturing and life support systems for Moon and Mars missions.”
AI and machine learning will receive $19 million to target AI-driven solutions for areas including 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 the CSIRO Future Science Platforms have an important role to play in inventing and securing Australian prosperity.
“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 advantage on the world stage,” Dr Marshall said.
“Innovation needs deep collaboration, so our FSPs bring together this nation’s world-class expertise across all fields of science, technology, engineering and maths to deliver real solutions to real world problems.”