CSIRO has announced a $35 million investment in frontier research in Space Technology and Artificial Intelligence.
Part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms (FSP) portfolio, aimed at dedicating research to new and emerging opportunities for Australia, 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.
According to CSIRO, Space Technology will receive $16 million to identify and develop the science to move past traditional technologies and find new areas for Australian industry to work in.
The investment builds on the launch of CSIRO’s Space Roadmap for Australia and supports the newly formed Australian Space Agency’s target of tripling the size of the domestic space sector to $10-12 billion by 2030.
The research will initially focus on developing advanced technologies for Earth observation before moving to address challenges such as space object tracking, resource utilisation in space, and developing manufacturing and life support systems for missions to the Moon and Mars.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will receive $19M to develop AI-driven solutions for areas including health and wellbeing, resilient and valuable environments, food security and quality, sustainable energy and resources and Australian and regional security.
CSIRO said the research will primarily focus on developing 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 program – which will have invested $205 million by 2022 – will play a critical role in inventing and securing Australia’s path to 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 advantages 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.”
“CSIRO is here to solve Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology – and to do that we have to invest in the big thinking and breakthrough research that will keep us ahead of the curve.”