Long-time CSIRO CEO Dr. Larry Marshall will complete his third and final term in June 2023
The Board of CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has announced that Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall will complete his third and final term in June 2023. Dr Marshall will be CSIRO’s longest-serving Chief Executive since a half-century.
Over the past eight years, under Dr. Marshall’s leadership, CSIRO has renewed its focus on its unique goal of solving the world’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.
Kathryn Fagg, Chair of the CSIRO Board of Directors, praised Dr. Marshall’s accomplishments. “Dr. Marshall has led CSIRO to achieve significant scientific breakthroughs, translate his research into real-world solutions, and deliver staggering benefit to our nation – eight times the investment.”
“Today’s CSIRO is Australia’s most connected research organisation, collaborating across universities and helping thousands of small and large industrial partners put science at the center of creating a better future. .”
Commenting on his leadership at CSIRO, Dr. Marshall thanked the 5,672 people at CSIRO who do their best every day for the nation.
“It is a rare privilege to work with people so determined to succeed for the good of a nation and its people. Over the past eight years, together, we have reignited Australia’s ambition to solve our greatest challenges through science.
“I am honored to know all that has been provided by our national science agency and how proud every Australian can be of their accomplishments.”
Solutions from science
Shortly after joining the organization, Dr. Marshall introduced the 2020 Strategy to focus CSIRO on continued scientific excellence, but with the goal of amplifying the delivery of science-based solutions – to get science across of the laboratory in the hands of the community. Innovations like Future Feed – an algae-derived feed additive to reduce livestock emissions; the hydrogen cracker to catalyze a $50 billion Australian hydrogen energy industry, Colvera – a highly sensitive and specific blood test for colorectal cancer recurrence and the development of omega-3 oils, proteins and bioactive from marine microorganisms.
Science for a great future
Paving the way for greater future science for national benefit Dr. Marshall has created “future science platforms” with $425 million invested in Horizon 3 research since 2016 – cutting-edge, transformative future science. This includes 20 areas of promising new science and technology. Examples: quantum technology, immune resilience, permanent carbon lock, advanced engineering biology.
New invention and growing small business
Dr Marshall has transformed CSIRO’s approach to solving Australia’s biggest challenges, identifying six national challenges and enabling the organization to work better across all scientific disciplines. New areas of research were also established at scale, making CSIRO Australia’s largest data science cluster and its premier health cluster that enabled CSIRO’s proactive response to COVID-19.
Supporting Australian innovation, Dr Marshall oversaw the creation of ON, CSIRO’s incubator program to help research-driven start-ups get off the ground. Since its inception in 2015, ON has supported 3,314 researchers from 52 Australian research organizations and created 510 new jobs and 66 companies, which have raised $114.6 million in investment capital and $115.8 million in grants of marketing.
Drawing on his experience in building companies to propel innovation, Dr. Marshall led the creation of the CSIRO Innovation Fund – Main Sequence Ventures. The Fund was created to help support the translation of Australian research into new ventures to solve big challenges. Since 2017, the CSIRO Innovation Fund, Main Sequence, has helped create 42 deep tech companies. Overall, Strategy 2020 has helped create or transform hundreds of businesses, creating billions of new economic value and thousands of jobs for Australians.
On a mission to Australia
In August 2020, Dr. Marshall led CSIRO to establish missions – large research programs to tackle big, multi-faceted problems by bringing together research agencies, universities, industry, government and society. community with results that lead to positive benefits, new jobs and economic growth. Missions launched include Hydrogen, Future Proteins, Drought Resilience, Reliable Agrifood Exports, Ending Plastic Waste, Towards Net Zero.
Bushfires, COVID and floods
The 2019/20 bushfire season built on 70 years of CSIRO bushfire research as the nation was devastated by its impact. Dr Marshall, focusing on building a national laboratory infrastructure for Australian research, presented a new national research laboratory. The National Bushfire Behavior Research Laboratory brings together industry, research and government partners to harness the latest science and technology in the face of more frequent and severe bushfire seasons.
CSIRO launched the Australian Center for Disease Preparedness and engaged in a wide range of activities with government and industry in response to COVID-19, including preclinical testing of potential vaccines, understanding the virus and its mutations, wastewater monitoring, support for the manufacture of surgical masks, and analyzing and sharing data trends and the impact on health services. Under the leadership of Dr Marshall, the CSIRO National Vaccine and Therapeutics Lab will enhance Australia’s ability to produce vaccines and drug treatments on land. The new $23.1 million national laboratory will see CSIRO researchers transform vaccine and drug candidates into mass-produced products for clinical trials.
Although floods are part of Australia’s natural ecology, they can cause significant damage to infrastructure and loss of life. CSIRO is on the ground in Rivers North – meeting with flood-affected communities in seven LGAs – as part of a flood mitigation study, which will help the government prioritize projects in at-risk areas to protect Australians.
Whether it’s inspiring school children with physics experiments, pulling yet another amazing piece of science out of your pocket, building start-ups out of science, or fiercely championing integrity and trust of the organization – Dr Marshall reminded us all that science has the power to solve seemingly impossible challenges and create a better future for all Australians.