Global aerospace giant Boeing has named Australian research agency CSIRO as technology supplier of the year for 2017, the second consecutive year for the national science agency.
Selected from a field of more than 13,000 suppliers from 50 countries, CSIRO was one of 13 organisations and the only one from Australia to be recognised this year.
Boeing said that CSIRO's ability to deliver technology innovations that “were instrumental to Boeing worker safety”, helped advance production efficiency and “delivered Boeing’s competitive advantage in the avionics business” were key reasons CSIRO retained the Technology Award it won in 2016.
The Boeing relationship is one of CSIRO's most enduring and productive. Since 1989, the organisations have invested in projects that take in everything from software to safety systems, cyber security to space science, production efficiency to advanced materials.
In January 2018, the two parties announced an agreement to perform joint research and development in space technologies, signalling a new phase in the partnership, which was followed by last month’s announcement that CSIRO and Boeing’s respective investment funds were backing Australian nanosatellite communications start-up Myriota.
"We greatly value our long and strong relationship with Boeing, because it’s built on shared values, including trust and respect, safety of our workers and striving for excellence in everything we do," CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said.
"Like Boeing, CSIRO was founded to deliver national missions – we are united by a common purpose to make life better, whether it’s on the ground, in the air, or on Mars. We’re excited to be expanding our partnership into space, creating opportunities for not only new knowledge about our universe, but new opportunities for humankind."
Over the course of their 29-year partnership, CSIRO and Boeing have delivered a range of technological breakthroughs, creating jobs and growth in Australia and the US. CSIRO's "Paintbond" technology, for instance, has been applied to more than a thousand Boeing airplanes, including some in the skies above Australia, saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs.
Last year, the organisations also signed a new $35 million five-year deal to work together on a broad range of areas of mutual interest, including space sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing.