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Top awards for innovation in 2017

A blood test for colorectal cancer, an open-access portal for Australian biodiversity and a sustainable approach to controlling devastating rust disease in crops, are some of the Australian innovations being celebrated at the annual CSIRO Awards.

Now in its 32nd year, the CSIRO Awards showcase the achievements of the national science agency’s people and partners, and the difference their research makes to industry, society and the planet.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said CSIRO’s people get up every morning to change the world.

“Our people 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,” Dr Marshall said.

“The CSIRO Awards honour the teams, individuals and partners that embody this vision.

“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.”

Presented today at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the 2017 CSIRO Awards winners were:

  • The CSIRO Entrepreneurship Award
    Awarded to the team behind the Colvera blood test for bowel cancer. Colvera can indicate early molecular changes associated with cancer development which could lead to a reduction in the number of deaths from the disease. Working with our partners Clinical Genomics, Colvera has just been released in the US and will hopefully be available in Australia as early as 2018.
  • The CSIRO Medal for Impact from Science
    Awarded to the Atlas of Living Australia for developing world-leading e-research infrastructure which is now being adopted globally. The Atlas of Living Australia, which has had over 13 billion downloads, provides free online access to information about Australia’s biodiversity. The ALA is made possible thanks to its many partners including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and is supported through the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
  • The Chairman’s Medal for Science Excellence
    Awarded to the cereal rust disease prevention team whose research, in partnership with the Grains Research and Development Corporation, has contributed to global food security by protecting cereal crops against rust diseases.
  • The CSIRO Medal for Support Excellence
    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
    Awarded 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
    Awarded 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
    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.
  • Medal for Lifetime Achievement
    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
    Awarded to Dr Jack Steele, for living and breathing what it means to be a member of Team CSIRO.

Source: CSIRO

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