Data61 CEO bumped up to CSIRO executive along with new chief scientist role

Among an executive restructure, Australia's national science agency will receive its own chief scientist.

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Two years after it was swallowed and rebranded by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Data61 will gain a seat at the CSIRO executive level to be filled by its CEO Adrian Turner.

Speaking at Senate Estimates on Thursday, CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall said the elevation of Data61 was due to the "importance of data and digital technology" and that it was transforming "literally every part of our economy and every part of CSIRO".

Marshall explained the CSIRO will have its own chief scientist, to represent "every CSIRO scientist" at the executive team meeting, along with new two executive roles.

"One [role is] called 'people', which will be responsible for taking care of our people; there will be a position called 'growth' which will be responsible for the growth of our impact, the growth of our science, the growth of our capability," he said.

Also read: Data61: A year into the digital transformation of an entire economy

The CSIRO CEO said the organisation was currently in the process of recruiting for the roles.

In September of last year, the CSIRO had a round of job cuts, which saw 57 people sacked, including 15 from Data61.

That same month, Data61 partnered with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to publish a framework that aims to assist organisations to de-identify data appropriately and put strategies in place to recover should a data breach occur, and worked with ANU to establish a research institute to look into artificial intelligence.

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