Centre for Transformative Innovation

CSIRO history project

CSIRO is a vital part of Australia’s National Innovation System. Our research concentrates on the evolution of CSIRO since World War II and the main factors which have driven changes in the organisation. 

2026 is the 100th anniversary of CSIR/CSIRO and 2024 the 75th anniversary of the start of CSIRO. This project is assisting CSIRO document its rich and important history.

Our research areas include:

  • CSIRO’s general policies and practices
  • Contributions by key CSIRO personnel
  • Investigation of external factors influencing CSIRO
  • Comparisons of Australian and foreign approaches to the conduct of national scientific research programs
  • Investigation of CSIRO’s technology transfer processes and their effectiveness
  • Employment practices, including diversity and gender policies

Research activities include:

  • Digitisation of CSIRO governance records
  • Conducting and documenting oral history interviews
  • Developing CSIROpedia as a vehicle for publishing History project outputs online
  • Working with CSIRO Alumni and others to have histories written about CSIRO’s scientific research programs. 

Research team



Areas of research

Tom Spurling

Professor, Innovation studies

Oral histories, governance, technology transfer

Terry Healy

Adjunct Professor

Governance, Intellectual property

Helen Wolff

Research Associate

Data management

Garrett Upstill

Honorary Research Associate

Evolution of technology transfer

Greg Simpson

Adjunct Professor

Science capability development