In 2020, RTI International was commissioned by CSIRO to conduct an assessment of the value it delivers to Australia by analysing its impact. This is done with reference to the case studies of CSIRO’s research breakthroughs conducted by independent evaluators and analysts. These case studies account for the resources entrusted to CSIRO, and measure the impact which its various programs and initiatives deliver to the nation and to its partners.
The 2020 Value of CSIRO report provides the most up-to-date information about CSIRO’s the collective impact. The report compares the monetised impacts resulting from CSIRO’s work compared with the costs of those projects and programs, resulting in a quantified 7.6 to 1 benefit-to-cost ratio, meaning that every $1 invested results in about $7.60 in economic, social, and environmental value.
This result is an underestimate; many advances in knowledge, contributions to Australia’s human capital, and contributions to conservation and culture are not readily expressed in dollar terms.