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A $50 million investment from the CSIRO will go towards research on energy storage and carbon capture technologies, among other programs.

The investment will happen over the next five years, and go towards four new programs as part of CSIRO’s $200 million portfolio of Future Science Platforms (FSPs).

The four new programs are:

  • The Revolutionary Energy Storage Systems FSP will reimagine Australia’s electricity grid from one designed to support fossil fuels to instead incorporate more sources of renewable power
  • The Permanent Carbon Locking FSP will harness biology, chemistry and engineering to drive innovation in carbon capture and carbon storage science
  • The Immune Resilience FSP will build on the accelerated understanding of human and animal immune systems gained from COVID-19 to develop technologies that prevent, protect, and respond to emerging health threats
  • The Advanced Engineering Biology FSP will deliver new tools to develop fast-tracked solutions for some of the most pressing challenges of this century – from food security to health and wellbeing and carbon-neutral industries

CSIRO’s Chief Scientist, Professor Bronwyn Fox, said the new FSPs will bring together industry and science, including early career researchers, to invent the cutting-edge science that will shape our future. 

“CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms are a big part of our strategy to stay at the forefront of discovery,” Professor Fox said.

“They are a critical part of the way we do science – they are our investment in cutting-edge, transformative research where we push the boundaries of science and lean into the seemingly impossible.

“The foundational research that these four new Future Science Platforms will undertake will pave the way for innovations and catalyse new industries that will help us to better manage our health, food security, natural resources and environment in the decades to come.” 

Dr Adam Best, Interim Director of the Revolutionary Energy Storage Systems FSP, said disruptive change is crucial to meeting future energy needs safely, efficiently and sustainably. 

“Unlocking the secret to efficient and safe energy storage could see us charge electric vehicles as easily as we now fill our petrol tanks, or keep portable our devices charged for many days without the need for a top-up,” Dr Best said.

“On a larger scale, it could even be mimicking pumped hydro through new technology and making it more responsive to the needs of the grid.”

Dr Andrew Lenton, Director of the Permanent Carbon Locking FSP, said the research would focus on accelerated atmospheric carbon removal and permanent carbon storage, and integrating these in novel ways.   

“If we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, breakthroughs and innovation in permanent carbon removal from the atmosphere is needed,” Dr Lenton said.

“The future science and capability developed in this FSP have the potential to underpin new industries and reshape existing industries for Australia and beyond, with CSIRO’s science at the centre.”

CSIRO’s $200 million portfolio of Future Science Platforms includes 20 programs that underpin innovation and have the potential to help reinvent and create new industries for Australia. 

For more information, click here.

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