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CSIRO and CSST commit to joint activities, strengthening science impact in South Pacific

By October 15, 2018March 20th, 2019No Comments

Dr Alex Held, CSIRO’s Director of the Centre for Earth Observation signs the research collaboration partnership agreement with Rafael Kargren, CSST’s Director of Operations in Brisbane, Australia.

CSST and Australia’s CSIRO today announced a partnership to jointly solve the complex challenges that arise from the demands and impacts of human activities on the environment, specifically in the South Pacific.

CSIRO is Australia’s leading research institute, delivering over $5 billion AUD to the Australian economy each year across a wide range of industries, from farming and food production through to astronomy and space.

CSST is one of New Zealand’s newly established regional research institutes, focusing on delivering economic benefit via the application of Earth observation data, remote sensing technologies and geospatial science.
The partnership agreement launches a joint research collaboration between the two organisations on either side of the Tasman.

“Our partnership with CSIRO is one of shared values and shared areas of focus,” says CSST Director of Operations, Rafael Kargren. “The opportunity to work with a talented research team across the Tasman enhances CSST’s capability and our ability to deliver benefit to New Zealand’s regional industries and government.”

Areas of the collaboration will likely include land use, farming techniques, improving crop yield, crop and livestock security, pest control, solutions for water management and disaster monitoring. CSIRO and CSST are already working on earth observation data analytics and processing platforms.

“Everything we do at CSIRO is focused on creating measurable economic, environment and social benefits that better our world, and Australia’s place in it,” said Dr. Alex Held, Director of the CSIRO Centre for Earth Observation. “We see this as a natural partnership and we look forward to working with CSST to strengthen our collective scientific impact in the South Pacific region.”

In addition to shared methods, New Zealand has unique topology and climate which enables CSIRO to conduct proof of concept work and method validation with CSST scientists, which could lead towards product development that can be applied on a global scale.

CSST scientists are leading a number of unique projects such as the work of Dr Moritz Lehmann, CSST’s senior scientist. “Dr Lehmann’s work monitoring lake water colour at a country-wide level is of great interest to our team, and we look forward to collaborating with him to share sensors, tools and knowledge to build a joint expertise across New Zealand and Australia,” says Dr Tim Malthus, Research Group Leader at CSIRO.

“We look forward to working together to increase the impact of our two organisations scientific works in the Pacific and globally. The relationship with CSIRO is a valued one for CSST, as there is much to learn from an organisation that has been successfully conducting industry and policy-relevant research across the past century,” said CSST’s Kargren.

The CSST and CSIRO partnership was inaugurated in Brisbane on 11 October by Rafael Kargren, CSST Director of Operations and Dr Alex Held, CSIRO Director of the Centre for Earth Observation.


CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency operating under the provisions of the Science and Industry Research Act 1949. CSIRO is Australia’s innovation catalyst, collaborating to boost the nation’s innovation performance and aims to create benefit for Australia through impactful science and innovation.

About CSST

CSST is a regional research institute, formed in July 2017 to deliver economic opportunity to New Zealand by conducting policy-relevant, industry-led research and development in the fields of geospatial science and remote sensing. CSST aims to scale the positive impact of EO data by pairing science and product commercialisation.