Feeds

Cutbacks hit CSIRO wireless unit

Union fears science will suffer

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.