Our national science agency CSIRO has teamed up with the world’s largest aerospace company Boeing for a five-year R&D program to improve sustainability and use digital tech to boost productivity in aviation.

CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall said the partners are building on 32 years of joint research.

“Our partnership with Boeing is a shining example of that, science delivering real solutions for aviation and aerospace industries and creating economic benefits for Australia and jobs for Australians that we know from our history will continue to deliver value for decades.

“The next five years will see our science really move the needle on innovation to create sustainable solutions that deliver the great challenge of lowering emissions while expanding our economy at the same time – but that’s what science does.”

The agreement will see the partners invest up to $41 million across areas of mutual interest.

Research the key to aerospace innovation

CSIRO and Boeing have made a few breakthroughs since first partnering in 1989, including CSIRO’s paintbond technology which has been applied to more than a thousand Boeing aeroplanes around the world – saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs.

Over the years the organisations have invested more than $200 million on joint research projects. The Boeing Company chief engineer and Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology executive vice president Greg Hyslop said these years of research and development are at the core “of every critical innovation in aerospace.”

“Our new multi-year agreement with CSIRO will lead to a more sustainable aviation industry, building upon our decades-long partnership that has already produced so many significant advancements for Boeing and our customers.”

Reducing environmental impacts across the value chain

The organisations will ramp up projects focused on using AI, machine learning and creating digital twins to improve efficiency and lower costs.

“There is also huge potential to use CSIRO’s deep expertise in sustainability to reduce environmental impacts right across the value chain from airplane manufacturing, right through to optimising times around flight operations,” CSIRO chief technical advisor to Boeing Shravan Singh said.