CSIRO identifies the drivers of a post-pandemic return to growth

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CSIRO says a new report has revealed the opportunities for industries to leverage science and technology and help restore economic growth and resilience.

The agency said the report, COVID-19: Recovery and resilience, highlights the trends and national advantages the pandemic has created and identifies how six Australian industries can capitalise.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said science and technology create economic growth and opportunity for all Australians.  

“At this pivotal time in our history, the inclination is to batten down the hatches and postpone investments, when actually we need to double down on Australian innovation, because science and technology can drive our recovery from this pandemic-led recession and land us back in a much stronger position,” said Dr Marshall.

“COVID-19 has disrupted every element of our lives, and while the devastating loss of life can’t be understated, we have an opportunity to determine the new kind of Australia we want to emerge from this crisis.  

“Just as science and technology have been guiding our health and emergency response, so too will they drive our economic response and recovery from this pandemic.”

The report highlights job creation and investment opportunities for the following sectors: agriculture and food; energy; health, mineral resources, manufacturing; and, digital.

CSIRO Futures lead economist, Dr Katherine Wynn, said by acting now Australian industries could increase productivity and cost efficiencies as well as create additional revenue from products, services and markets over the next few years.

“Energy efficient technologies is one immediate way to reduce energy costs, emissions and demand on the grid while creating local jobs, and we see many opportunities for increased productivity, such as energy efficient appliances in buildings and electric vehicles in transport that use mature technologies that are readily adoptable today,” said Dr Wynn.

“The health sector has always been an essential part of Australia’s economy and its importance has understandably been further emphasised during the pandemic.

“Over the next 6-24 months, the sector has opportunities for quality of care improvements and cost savings through sector-wide digital health integration.

“We also see potential for more efficient healthcare delivery through point-of-care diagnostics supported by bioinformatics and high-performance computing.  

“The manufacturing sector could maximise its local manufacturing capabilities, creating jobs and adding value to Australia’s growth sectors, particularly in pharmaceuticals, food and beverage manufacturing, mineral resource processing as well as in space and defence.”

CSIRO said the report consolidates key findings from its industry roadmaps and the Australian National Outlook.