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Science Australia : This Week


> New website for CSIRO (Commonwealth Science & Industrial Research Organisation)
> National Innovation Report
> National Biodiversity Month
> Automated Systems to Make Mines Safer
> Other Press Releases


A new website is offering visitors a birdseye view of Australia's largest scientific network, providing a fascinating insight into the linkages that make up a key part of the nation's innovation powerhouse.

The CSIRO Connections website provides key information on Australia's largest research organisation and its ramifications. It can be found at

Designed to help people familiarise themselves with CSIRO, it highlights the range of scientific, commercial and educational services available providing a snapshot of CSIRO, its resources and links.

Dr Colin Adam, CSIRO's acting Chief Executive said the website “arose from the need to show Government, in particular, the extensive nature of CSIRO's linkages and general contribution to innovation in Australia", he says. "No other research organisation can equal these linkages and they shouldn't be undervalued."


Following a National Innovation Summit in February the final report of the Summit Implementation Group (SIG) was released on Monday by Senator Nick Minchin, Minister for Industry, Science and Resources and Dr David Kemp, Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

Senator Minchin said the report, Innovation-Unlocking the future, is an important step in understanding the critical issues facing Australia today and will assist the Australian Government in developing its Innovation Action Plan.

The report represents six months of effort by a dedicated team of nine industry, research, education and Government representatives. The SIG has refined, assessed and prioritised recommendations that emerged from February's Summit jointly hosted by the Business Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Government and attended by 500 participants.

"The Report recognises the need to build a culture within Australia that applauds innovation, encourages the generation of new ideas through research, and promotes action through technology diffusion and commercialisation," Dr Kemp said.

The ISIG report is available from


September is National Biodiversity Month in Australia. A series of expert panel seminars open to the media and public are being held in Canberra that delve into key biodiversity issues beginning with GMOs and the Environment on 6 September. The three other seminars are titled: Salinity and Biodiversity; Biodiversity credits: creating markets for ecosystem services; and Invasive species.


CSIRO and other Australian scientists will tell an international conference on mine safety in Perth this week how a suite of novel Australian technologies, including nano-technology, can help slash the risk to miners. The conference, 'Minesafe International 2000', is being held at the Burswood International Resort, Perth from 3-8 September.

New safety management systems will be able to communicate data such as seismic events, geochemistry and mine stability. CSIRO have now developed the 3D Virtual Mine that combines data from many sources into a visually integrated 3D model of the entire minesite, which has many advantages over the normal 'flat table' documents and datasets currently in use. Importantly, the model can be run using common web-browser software giving a more intuitive picture of site conditions than a panel full of dials and a screen full of numbers.

CSIRO are also trialling and developing a range of giant robotic mining devices, that will either operate themselves under human supervision or else be 'driven' directly by a miner, in both cases from a safe, remote location away from hazardous environments. The new technologies are likely to lead to fundamental changes in mining methods."


Speech by Australian Prime Minister John Howard at the opening of CSIRO’s new Discovery Centre

Greenhouse Challenge goes Offshore for PNG Pipeline ProjectThe $3.5 billion Papua New Guinea Gas Project which will provide a cost-effective alternative to coal-fired power generation in Queensland for the first time is the latest project to sign up to the Federal Government's Greenhouse Challenge.

Federal Government guarantees no premature introduction of greenhouse gas emissions trading

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