New partnerships drive CSIRO US growth

January 6th, 2020

It’s been less than a year since CSIRO US opened its doors to bring Australia’s global innovation engine here to help businesses solve global challenges.

From partnerships with major universities to agreements with promising start-ups, to the extension of long-term contracts with notable research and industrial organizations, we’re energized by the progress in such a short time.

The University of California Davis is the latest organization to partner with CSIRO US. Together, we signed a joint MoU in April that aims to increase global collaboration among our scientists and research facilities over the next five years. It is the fourth new partnership nurtured by CSIRO US and our first major collaboration agreement with an American university since the office opening.

During G’day USA in January, CSIRO US announced Swinburne as the first Australian university to co-locate in our California office. The CSIRO-Swinburne partnership connects Swinburne PhD students and early career researchers, co-funded by industry, to work on projects with leading Silicon Valley-based organizations.

In the same month, we also announced a partnership with San Francisco Bay Area-based ocean technology start-up Saildrone to radically improve measurement and monitoring in hard-to-access oceans starting in the Southern Hemisphere.

CSIRO US connected Main Sequence Ventures, CSIRO’s Innovation Fund, to Boeing Horizon X Ventures, which resulted in a co-investment in the Australian satellite company Myriota. This was a $15 million Series A funding round and Horizon X’s first investment outside the US.

“Introducing CSIRO to a new market is a big challenge but CSIRO US is slowly gaining traction and profile through the development of new partnerships, working hand in hand with our colleagues in business units in Australia,” CSIRO US Executive Vice President Susan Lucas-Conwell said.

She said the traction CSIRO is experiencing in Silicon Valley is testament to the innovation advantage partners get when they combine CSIRO research and expertise across 14 scientific disciplines with their own innovators to produce new discoveries and solutions.

More events that will showcase CSIRO’s capabilities to a broad audience are in the works. Next week, CSIRO US will showcase some of the ways new sensor technologies are disrupting industries at the Sensors Expo in San Jose. Chris Nelson, of CSIRO’s Data61 and Peter Thorburn, of CSIRO’s Agriculture and Food unit, are presenting.

In September, CSIRO US will participate in RoboBusiness, the leading event for the global robotics industry, and also the Global Climate Action Summit.

CSIRO US is headquartered in San Mateo just outside San Francisco. It is led by Susan Lucas-Conwell and closely supported by a team of market experts including Margaret Donoghue, Director Strategic Partnerships.