STEM capability

Function 2.1 Promote STEM capability, development and education.
two female school children with an adult male completing a STEM activity

To equip New South Wales students with the skills they need for the workforce of the future, we’re partnering with the New South Wales Government to deliver Generation STEM, a $25 million initiative to attract, support and retain young people in STEM education and skilled careers.

We deliver on this requirement by:

  • providing opportunities for students and teachers to develop and improve STEM skills including access to mentors
  • offering education and outreach activities to increase knowledge of STEM and its application to students, parents, teachers and the Australian community
  • publishing a variety of content including journals, books and magazines to support an increased knowledge of science and its application
  • working with SMEs to develop capability both within industry and the research sector to support innovation in SMEs.

Strategic focus areas for 2020–24:

  • providing high-quality STEM programs for teachers, students and community
  • improving Indigenous STEM studies and employment
  • enhancing early career researchers’ industry engagement
  • increasing STEM for SMEs.

Key activities for 2020–21

Education and Outreach

Continuous improvement of STEM programs: Renew, refresh and develop an integrated suite of programs to grow Australia’s pipeline of STEM talent through high-quality, innovative and authentic STEM education experiences for students, educators, industry, government and the community.

SME Connect

Increase SME engagement: Deliver the Innovation Connections program and develop an integrated offering for SMEs which builds on existing programs and boosts the innovation performance of Australian SMEs to drive economic growth and productivity by increasing SME engagement with publicly funded research and development.



  1. Australia’s science capacity is increased, which helps the nation to remain innovative and competitive in science.
  2. Increased awareness and understanding of science and its potential benefits to the community and industry.
  3. Increased industry participation in CSIRO education and outreach activities.
KPIs and targets
Outcome KPI Metrics Targets
2020–21 2021–22 2022–23 2023–24
CSIRO’s contribution to help lift Australia’s science capacity and capability through STEM funded, developed and delivery of education programs. Demonstrated contribution to national scientific literacy through delivery of STEM programs as evidenced by an annual program evaluation of STEM program delivery. Evidence of contribution to scientific literacy Evidence of contribution to scientific literacy Evidence of contribution to scientific literacy Evidence of contribution to scientific literacy