CSIRO-UQ Collaboration on Responsible Innovation

August 31st, 2020

Collaboratively building Australia’s research capability in the responsible innovation of future science and technologies
Project Duration: 22 December 2017 – 30 March 2024
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Building research capability to explore policy and regulatory responses for emerging science and technologies

The Challenge

The pace of change of emerging science and technology is creating complex issues for societies and their decision makers. As cutting-edge research in areas like synthetic biology, robotics, precision health, hydrogen energy and artificial intelligence work to solve the greatest challenges facing Australia, this collaboration between CSIRO and UQ attracts a new cohort of early career researchers willing to develop the requisite capabilities to tackle the societal challenges emerging from the development of these new areas of science.

Responding to the Challenge

CSIRO’s Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform and The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Centre for Policy Futures established a research collaboration in December 2017 to examine three interrelated areas of inquiry as they relate to assessing the benefits, risks and uncertainties that new science and technology presents for society:

  1. Accounting for the multidimensionality of risk
  2. Unpacking trust in emerging technologies
  3. Ensuring institutional effectiveness to seize opportunities and manage risk.

The collaboration is designed to invest in early career researchers, conducting applied social science research across a range of domains.

Collaborating with UQ’s Centre for Policy Futures complements CSIRO’s scientific expertise and draws on the Centre’s deep expertise in policy and regulatory aspects of novel and emerging technologies; expertise that draws on ethics, philosophy, behavioural economics, business, sociology and law.

The collaboration also seeks to move beyond traditional, transactional research delivery models to provide the next generation of Australian scientists and researchers with experience working across both applied and academic research environments to solve some of Australia’s greatest challenges.

Project Impacts

The collaboration is building opportunity, capacity and capability for early career researchers. Since commencement, two Postdoctoral Fellowships and four PhD Scholarships have been awarded, establishing a new Responsible Innovation cohort (RI Cohort) of early career researchers (ECRs) based at UQ. The research of these ECRs focuses on:

The collaboration also hosts events to strengthen this emerging Australian RI research community and enhance the knowledge, skills, abilities and opportunities of these ECRs to conduct RI research for Australia.


CSIRO: Elizabeth Hobman (Project Leader); UQ Centre for Policy Futures: Allison Fish. UQ-CSIRO Post-Doctoral Fellows: Amelia Radke; Artem Anyshchenko. UQ-CSIRO PhD Scholars: Robert Arcidiacono; Farzad Jahedi; Benjamin Retschlag; and Christopher Shadforth

Additional information on this collaboration is available as follows:

CSIRO’s Media release announcing the university collaborations: https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2019/Responsible-innovation-initiative-to-ask-Australia-what-kind-of-future-we-want-to-create

The University of Queensland’s Centre for Policy Futures: https://policy-futures.centre.uq.edu.au/csiro-uq-responsible-innovation-collaboration

The University of Queensland’s 2019 symposium ‘From Digital Data to Decisions to…’: https://policy-futures.centre.uq.edu.au/article/2019/05/watch-digital-data-decisions-workshop-keynote-address