Australian innovation celebrated in 2017 CSIRO Awards

Wednesday, 29 November, 2017

Colvera screen

The 2017 CSIRO Awards were presented at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra yesterday, showcasing the achievements of the national science agency’s people and partners and the difference their research makes to industry, society and the planet.

The awardees were praised by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall, who said the agency’s staff are “passionate about creating science-driven solutions for the biggest challenges facing our nation, and thrive on collaborating across the country to make life better for everyone”.

“Every year our people set the bar higher, collaborating with universities and industry more than ever to deliver more game-changing innovations for Australia and the world,” Dr Marshall continued.

Here is the full list of this year’s awardees:

  • The CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award was presented to the team behind the Colvera blood test for bowel cancer, which can indicate early molecular changes associated with cancer development.
  • The CSIRO Medal for Impact from Science went to the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), which provides free online access to information about Australia’s biodiversity.
  • The Chairman’s Medal for Science Excellence was awarded to the cereal rust disease prevention team, whose research has contributed to global food security by protecting cereal crops against rust diseases.
  • The CSIRO Medal for Support Excellence was awarded to the team behind ON for designing, implementing and expanding Australia’s first national sci-tech accelerator that empowers Australian researchers to create positive economic, social and environmental impact from their science and technology.
  • The John Philip Award for the Promotion of Excellence in Young Scientists went to Dr Sam Spinks, whose research has helped identify prospective regions in WA and the NT for exploration investment; and Dr Robyn Hall, whose research is helping manage wild rabbit populations.
  • The Chief Executive Professional Development Awards were presented to Emily Chang, to learn new ways and approaches to facilitate innovation and collaboration within CSIRO; Dr George Feast, to further develop his expertise in facilitating business-research collaboration; and Katrina Spencer, to expand her expertise in social entrepreneurship.
  • The CSIRO Medal for Health, Safety and Environment Achievement was awarded to the team of herbarium curators at the spirit collection, for improving health and safety at the Australian National Herbarium and Australian Tropical Herbarium.
  • The Medal for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Dr Jennifer Stauber, for her landmark research that has underpinned national water and sediment quality guidelines for environmental protection in Australasia and globally over 38 years; and Dr Mark Stafford Smith, for over 30 years of international leadership in sustainability science that has informed policy and management of human ecosystems under global change and uncertainty.
  • The Team CSIRO Award went to Dr Jack Steele, for living and breathing what it means to be a member of Team CSIRO.

Image caption: Professor Graeme Young, Dr Sanne Pedersen and Dr Peter Molloy from the Colvera team. ©Karl Schwerdtfeger, photographer.

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