Innovation @ CSIRO [Case Study]

csiro-psia-tour-2016CSIRO’s ON Program helps scientists become innovators, from idea to application and beyond

CSIRO has a rich (100 years) history in research and innovation. David Burt (Innovation Manager) provided an overview of the CSIRO’s ‘ON Program’, a three-month program for teams of CSIRO specialists to contribute to the ‘market validation and commercialisation’ stages of research.

Key insights

  • CSIRO underwent a cultural and mindset change and realised that bringing people along on the ‘innovation’ journey is critical (i.e., in this context, taking scientists out of the ‘lab’ and equipping them with the ability to engage end users).
  • They are now using multi-role and discipline teams to increase collaboration and innovation throughout the organisation.
  • Innovation at CSIROCreating physical and digital spaces to share ideas is important.
  • The role of an ‘innovation manager’ is not to innovate but to ‘connect’ groups/personnel who apply innovation to their roles every day—a catalyst for innovation.
  • CSIRO is also increasing customer focus, engaging the ‘end user’.
  • The cohort discussed the importance of ‘mentors’/’champions’ to promote initiatives.
  • Risk management was discussed in the context of the tolerance of private versus public sector research.
  • Crowdsourcing is very powerful for insight (when done correctly).
  • While on a bathroom break, a number of ‘infographics’ detailing service delivery outcomes for ‘waste’ at CSIRO were observed — a great way to quickly communicate key points to customers.

CSIRO Future Industries Sector is a Member of Hargraves Institute, leading innovation in Australia via their commitment to our Member Advisory Council and collaboration with peer members.

Case Study written for Hargraves by y Adam Costantini, Contract Management Officer, Directorate of Base Services: Management, Integration & Coordination. Adam was a guest of Hargraves at the recent PSIA2016 Tours (September 2016).


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