Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is to invest A$35m ($25m) to support research in the fields of space technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

The new investment is expected to see the development of advanced imaging of Earth from satellites, in addition to improved data science to support the growth of AI technology.

Part of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms (FSP) initiative, the investment aims to facilitate new and potential research opportunities in Australia.

The investment also aims to remodel old and create new industries, as well as enhance the capabilities of a new generation of researchers.

“We have to invest in the big thinking and breakthrough research that will keep us ahead of the curve.”

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said: “Innovation needs deep collaboration, so our FSPs bring together this nation’s world-class expertise across all fields of science, technology, engineering and maths to deliver real solutions to real-world problems.

“CSIRO is here to solve Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology – and to do that, we have to invest in the big thinking and breakthrough research that will keep us ahead of the curve.”

A$16m ($12m) of the total investment will be provided to the space technology field to identify and develop the science to upgrade traditional technologies.

The investment will initially support the development of advanced technologies for Earth observation, before dealing with various challenges such as space object tracking, developing manufacturing and life support systems for missions to the Moon and Mars, among others.

The investment in space technology is part of CSIRO’s Space Roadmap for Australia and supports its newly established space agency’s aim of tripling the size of the domestic space sector to A$10 ($7bn)-A$12bn ($9bn) by 2030.

CSIRO will provide A$19m ($14m) of the newly announced investment to the AI and machine learning sector.

The fund is expected to be used to develop AI-driven solutions in the areas of food security and quality, health and wellbeing, sustainable energy, and others.