An image of Dr. Megan Clark, CEO of CSIRO.

Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive and CSIRO Board member.

Global megatrends: driving new connections between science and industry

This presentation 'Global Megatrends – driving new connections between science and industry' was delivered by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark. Provided here is an adapted transcript of the speech, which was addressed to the Australian Business Foundation in Sydney, New South Wales, on 21 July 2010.

  • 2 September 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

Global megatrends

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Slide one of the 'Global megatrends: Driving new connections between science and industry' presentation.

Good afternoon to you all.

This is an important opportunity to meet with business leaders, researchers and practitioners and I would like to thank Narelle Kennedy, CEO of the Australian Business Foundation, for inviting me to speak with you.

Narelle has asked me to address a few things with you today.

First, what are we seeing about the future trends that will affect Australian Industry.

The world is changing fast.

I want to share with you some work CSIRO has done to assess the megatrends that will affect the future. It will be a challenge for Australian business to stay competitive.

Second, how are we positioning ourselves to interact with industry? 

I will outline our strategy for positioning CSIRO's focus on 10 Flagship programs, and how we are engaging through these Flagships, building new alliances with industry and our aspiration to build profound impact for our partners.

And last, I want to share candidly from the perspective of Chief Executive, what I and the organisation are doing about addressing the real issue that CSIRO is sometimes difficult to deal with and sometimes impossible.

As a leading applied research organisation in the world, CSIRO has a proven track record of delivering innovation and solutions into the market place.

We have the most active licences for technology in the nation. We have had 54 spin-off companies with an enviable record of success and resilience, and we have inventions such as Wireless LAN that are having global impact – this technology will be in 4.5 billion devices. 

CSIRO can do a lot more to engage with industry and we aspire to make profound impact for our partners on their competiveness on the world stage. 

Talking about track record, one of the remarkable things in CSIRO is finding out about some of the impact CSIRO has had.

I received a delightful email from one gentleman who said: 'I have loved CSIRO since you put a crease in my pants,' signed Norm the pensioner.

And it's true we put the permanent press and washability into wool pants and the school uniforms of the nation.


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Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC). 2008. Science and Technology-Led Innovation in Services for Australian Industries [external link]. Report of the PMSEIC Working Group, 3 April, Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, Canberra. 

World Economic Forum. 2009. Global Risks 2010: A Global Risk Network Report [external link]. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland.