Dr Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist, CSIRO
University science is the lifeblood of translational research, and in collaboration with industry and publicly funded agencies like the CSIRO, builds new industries that bolster our economic recovery.
It’s a relationship that has thrived across over a century, and has underscored the development of new vaccines, created new ways of looking at the stars, developed new approaches to medicine, new ways of communicating and of generating clean energy.
In fact there are few areas of our lives where collaborations between university science and the CSIRO haven’t impacted. And in each of these areas, new industries have arisen from the combination of fundamental research, community involvement, research translation and innovation.
University science works with the CSIRO to build communities around new and groundbreaking areas of research as well as facilitating connections and collaborations with industry. It could hardly be more critical that this relationship continues to thrive as we face the extraordinary challenges from climate change, COVID, water shortages, increased energy and data demands, the need for advanced manufacturing and for new industries and jobs that can rebuild economies globally.
When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, the University of Queensland’s vaccine candidate was one of the earliest to go into testing and was scaled-up at CSIRO’s Advanced Biologics Manufacturing Facility in Melbourne. We are also collaborating with the University of Queensland and others on research into the detection of the virus in wastewater, on therapeutics and on the survivability of the virus on various surfaces.
Australia has world-class research capability and the potential to lead in future industries like advanced manufacturing, hydrogen, space and quantum technologies. We can also lead in new industries created by advances in science research in climate, biology and agriculture-related technologies.
Collaborative research and partnerships will be essential to creating and growing these industries. University science and the CSIRO work in tandem with industry to foster an ecosystem that turns Australian inventions into innovations that support our economic recovery and future resilience.
Translation is a key part of this, because research doesn’t end with the publishing of a paper.
Translation works best when we have a strong network of researchers from university science, publicly funded agencies like the CSIRO and industry working together to turn an invention into something that can have impact in our world. Working together, we will build the industries today that our society will rely on in the future.