Blog icon

In 2020, the world turned to science in the face of a global pandemic. A year later, while the pandemic is still ravaging many parts of the world, the role of science has broadened to lead recovery and resilience efforts as we consider what kind of future we want to rebuild.

Image of the front cover of the CSIRO Corporate Plan 2021–22.

Circular image split in two: the top is a man wearing a glove looking at phased array technologies. 

The bottom image is a picture taken from space looking down on clouds.

The CSIRO logo appears in the top left corner.

The top right corner states: Australia's national science agency 

Our key strategic planning document, the CSIRO Corporate Plan 2021–22

As the national science agency, CSIRO is helping lead Australia to a bold, technology-led recovery with a visionary program of missions that will drive our economy and our lives forward towards a more innovative and resilient Australia.

Coming out of 2020, we focused on the trends and implications relevant to our nation so we could paint a clearer picture for what CSIRO could be in 2030. We engaged with our people and tested our thinking with other stakeholders. We confirmed that our high-level vision statement should be refined to create a better future for Australia.

To help us achieve our vision, this Corporate Plan provides a four-year view for what we will focus on as we continue our strategy. We will invest in the best science and technology solutions to solve Australia’s challenges, we will evolve our sites into national laboratories supporting Australia’s emerging innovation ecosystem, and leverage our commercialisation expertise to create new value, jobs, and impact from Australian science.

We will contribute to Australia’s recovery and resilience in areas as diverse as natural disasters and pandemic preparedness, transformation for the manufacturing and energy sectors, and utilising the power of artificial intelligence to reinvent science and solutions.

Download and read our Corporate Plan 2021–22 PDF (6 MB)

Our purpose, vision and strategy

Our strategy articulates how we will achieve our purpose and our long-term future vision. It comprises our objectives, which are supported by strategic pillars and values that guide how we seek to change.

Our strategy at a glance

Australia’s National Science Agency

Strategy on a page


Solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.


Create a better future for Australia.


Primary activities to deliver our purpose
1 Conduct and encourage the translation of Australia’s world-class scientific research into impact
2 Create and manage Australia’s national laboratories 3 Stimulate innovation for Australian industry, academia and government

Challenges and missions

Six challenges we’re helping the nation to solve including large‑scale collaborative research missions

Health and wellbeing 

Food security and quality

A secure Australia and region

Resilient and valuable environments

Sustainable energy and resources

Future industries

Strategic pillars

The core areas that guide our operations

Deliver real solutions from excellent science and technology

Improve innovation from greater collaboration

Bring out our best from thriving culture and teams


The centre of our cultural vision

People first

Further together

Making it real


Our purpose:

Solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Our vision:

Create a better future for Australia.

Our 2030 vision describes our future state. It was created for and with our people to describe a clear aspiration of our future organisation to guide choices and communicate intentions to our leaders, our people, and stakeholders. 

To achieve our vision we will pursue three themes:

  1. Leading-edge science and delivery: Motivated by national challenges and looked to and trusted to solve them. Our mission-led focus is enabled by leading‑edge science and technology delivered by an agile way of working.
  2. World-class dynamic teams: The best and brightest minds united by our purpose. Our people are enabled to work seamlessly across diverse teams and are able to develop sought-after careers in and outside Team CSIRO.
  3. Smart national labs: We share smart infrastructure through the world’s best national laboratories with our customers and partners to inspire collaboration and for national benefit.

Trends influencing our strategy

We have been predicting and solving challenges for more than 100 years. We leverage external insights and our own science foresights to inform our research portfolio decisions and strategic direction.

Global megatrends

Global connectivity and pandemics
Balancing growth with sustainability
The fourth industrial revolution
Rise of Asia
Health of an ageing world

Australian innovation system trends

Global innovation performance
R&D investment
Skill transition
Trust in institutions

CSIRO internal trends

Role in solving national challenges
Shifting research methods
Future of work
Health, safety and wellbeing
Infrastructure and property footprint

We monitor global, national and internal trends that influence our strategic direction.

Innovation through collaboration

We can only continue delivering on our purpose if we collaborate and cooperate with our partners. That's why we work with Australian and international universities, governments, and industries and businesses of all sizes.


Cooperative Research Centres
Research Development Corporations
Publicly Funded Research Agencies

We partner with research institutions through co‑location, co-publication and collaborative research to boost innovation and ensure the best available research is used to solve the greatest challenges and deliver outcomes for Australia and the world.


Local councils

We share our research activities, listen to the needs of ministers, government departments, and provide scientific information and advice to inform policy development and program implementation.


Large corporations
Small to medium-sized enterprises
Accelerator and innovation funds
Venture capitals

We bring together our partners in industry to co-create commercialisation outcomes that deliver the greatest impact and create economic value for the nation. 


Outreach programs
STEM education
Indigenous engagement

We deliver learning experiences for students, teachers and the community to equip Australians with the knowledge they need to enter the workforce and increase their science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.

The diversity of our collaborators drives our innovation.

Objectives and strategic focus areas

Our objectives help us deliver on our purpose and respond to the internal and external environment. They include our key activities that will help us achieve our strategic direction for the next four years and move us closer to our vision aspirations.

Objective 1: Conduct and encourage the translation of Australia's world-class scientific research into impact


Deliver impactful solutions at-scale through leading science and technology, collaborative relationships and differentiated capability.

Key activities

  • Future manufacturing
  • Energy transformation for Australia
  • Artificial intelligence for the system
  • Pandemic preparedness and resilience
  • Natural disaster and resilience
  • Missions portfolio
  • Enhanced portfolio management for greater impact
  • Our customer experience

Objective 2: Create and manage Australia's national laboratories


World-class laboratories and collections led and shared with the research community and the public to drive innovation.

Key activity

Objective 3: Stimulate innovation for Australian industry, academia and government


Increase the rate of research translation in the innovation system programs and through investments that create new ventures and other outcomes to deliver impact for the nation.

Key activities

  • Commercialisation services for the system
  • Open access publications model 


Our capabilities help us to deliver our key activities and achieve our purpose. 

Investment in future capability

Over the next four years, we will invest in our people, infrastructure and data capabilities and build on existing activities that underpin our objectives and purpose.

Key activities

  • Future Science Platforms
  • Next generation national labs
  • Digital transformation
  • Commercialisation pathways
  • CSIRO ways of working
  • World-class talent
  • CSIRO culture program
  • Safety and wellbeing


Download and read our Corporate Plan 2021–22 PDF (6 MB)

Read our Corporate Plan 2021–22 in plain text TXT (61 KB)

Contact us

Find out how we can help you and your business. Get in touch using the form below and our experts will get in contact soon!

CSIRO will handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and our Privacy Policy.

First name must be filled in

Surname must be filled in

I am representing *

Please choose an option

Please provide a subject for the enquriy

0 / 100

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer

0 / 1900

You shouldn't be able to see this field. Please try again and leave the field blank.