Australia's national science agency announces plan to tackle "unsolvable problems"

  • World
  • Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020

CANBERRA, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Australia's national science agency has launched a series of large-scale major scientific research initiatives to help the nation recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Larry Marshall, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), said on Wednesday that the program was an extension of the collaboration between governments, universities, industry and science stimulated by the response to COVID-19.

"While COVID-19 will undoubtedly continue to disrupt, Australia will come together through this crisis and build a strong future in the process. We are calling for partners to join this Team Australia approach to solving what seem like unsolvable problems," he said in a statement.

About 100 million Australian dollars (71.1 million U.S. dollars) will be directed per year to the missions, which will aim to achieve outcomes including increasing preparedness for future pandemics, mitigating the impacts of drought and bushfires, ending plastic waste and overcoming the growing resistance to antibiotics.

"Science and technology are our greatest tools when it comes to maximizing opportunities and addressing the challenges that face Australia at this time of great upheaval," Karen Andrews, minister for industry, science and technology, said in the statement.

"We need to make sure that our scientists and researchers are working collaboratively with industry to solve real world challenges for the benefit of everyday Australians."

The program was announced on the 100th anniversary of the CSIRO launching its first mission to eradicate the prickly pear in Australia.

"For over a century we have worked with scientists around the country to solve our greatest challenges, and find the opportunities that give Australia her competitive advantage," Marshall said.

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