Feeds

Cutbacks hit CSIRO wireless unit

Union fears science will suffer

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

One of the CSIRO’s most successful research units – at least measured by the royalties it generates – is being slimmed down, according to the CSIRO Staff Association.

The union has called the job cuts “baffling” given the value of wireless research to the scientific body. Through a series of long-running lawsuits with vendors and carriers, CSIRO has made patent settlements worth more than $AU500 million, including a $AU220 million settlement with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile earlier this year.

More recently, the unit has been working hard to attract attention to its 50 Mbps Ngara wireless technology. While it says it is in discussions regarding commercialisation, no private sector partners have been named.

The staff association says it has been told by CSIRO ICT division management the cuts won’t “eliminate any scientific capability” from the research centre. However, the union remains sceptical, since the wireless unit comprises just 60 positions nationally. The new staff cuts of three full-time equivalents is seen as significant, and follows on from an earlier cut of five staff.

In addition to research such as Ngara, the wireless research is playing a role in the design and construction of Australia’s contribution to the Square Kilometer Array, being constructed in Murchison in Western Australia. ®

Update: The CSIRO has contacted The Register with a brief statement.

"We are relatively early on in the process and have identified three people – one scientist and two technical – who are surplus to the ICT Centre’s requirements, but not necessarily to CSIRO. It is hoped the staff can be redeployed within CSIRO," the spokesperson told us.

"CSIRO’s investment in different areas of research is governed by an internal science investment prioritisation process. Major projects, including the Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder radio telescope, are appropriately staffed." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.