About us

CSART has supported its partner institutions to secure over $18.2 million in grants and commissioned work

CSART is a not-for-profit organization working to build global capacity in the use of computer simulation and advanced research technologies to support policy and planning decisions that better address our most complex, persistent health and social problems. We know that in a complex world, the solutions we invest in often don’t lead to the change we strive for.  We understand that we need to evolve from the rudimentary analytic tools and approaches we have relied on over the past half a century if we are to achieve significant and lasting impacts for complex global challenges such as poverty, food insecurity, infectious disease elimination, homelessness, crime, mental illness and suicide, substance abuse, domestic violence, threats to child health and well-being, chronic disease, and significant health disparities across populations.  We believe that the next generation advances to tackle these complex problems will come from an approach that crosses the boundaries of individual sciences and shares innovation across nations through a genuine commitment to Open Science.

CSART is working at the intersection of computer science, data science, systems science, health and behavioral sciences and citizen science to put better analytic tools in the hands of decision makers. Through partnerships between academic centres of excellence, government and non-government agencies, and community stakeholders, CSART supports the translation of cutting-edge technological innovation into practical, advanced, transparent and interactive computer simulation-based decision support tools.  CSART is committed to creating the necessary workforce, technological, and systems infrastructure to bring forward a fundamental shift in decision analysis in the health and social sectors. We promote and support the development of ‘digital twins’ of our most complex health and social problems, and their use as a safe environment for testing and forecasting the likely short- and long-term impacts of interventions, strategies, and policy solutions before they are implemented in the real world; saving time and resources. These tools are being used to support policy and planning decisions, to build consensus for collaborative action, to monitor and evaluate progress, and to achieve faster, deeper, shared learning about change. 

The Founding Directors and supporters of CSART know that when we combine the very best in computer simulation, with the very best data, and the collective knowledge of people, we see the world better, we think better, we decide better, we make change, and we unlock the significant potential that lies in individuals and societies, for the benefit of all.

Speaking to the National Press Club of Australia

“Systems modelling and simulation gives decision makers advanced capability to see forward, to forecast the mental health trajectory that we are on at national and local levels, to test alternative strategies, and understand the impacts they are likely to deliver, before investing significant time and resources. We no longer need to make blind investments.”

Associate Professor Jo-An Occhipinti (née Atkinson)

CSART Managing Director;  Head, Systems Modelling, Simulation & Data Science, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

our mission

Our mission is to provide better access to advanced research technologies and transparent decision support tools to help policy makers and planners make sense of complex problems and generate collective action to help solve them. To achieve this, we are supporting the translation of cutting-edge innovation into practical tools and methods that can be applied across interdisciplinary policy and planning teams, and we are creating the necessary human, technological, and systems infrastructure to enable widespread use of computer simulation to evaluate interventions, strategies, and policy solutions before they are implemented in the real world. This will deliver shared insights about complex health and social problems and assist policy makers, system planners, service managers and their stakeholders to make decisions that best use limited resources and deliver real and lasting change.  In turn, these insights will shape the design, implementation and refinement of future cutting edge technological frameworks.


Our vision is a world where human health and wellbeing are enhanced by providing policy makers and system planners more intelligent tools to facilitate better decisions by:


Next generation computational modelling methods that integrate best evidence, expert and local knowledge and advanced data collection technologies


Sustainable investment in workforce and infrastructure development


Innovation through a transdisciplinary approach and commitment to open science


Ongoing partnership, collective learning, and action


Research & Development Labs

Centres of excellence in Canada, Australia and Switzerland are undertaking consolidated, coordinated and synergistic research and development activities to realize technical innovation, efficiency and training opportunities that would be difficult to achieve alone.

Model repository & curation

We are working to establish an Open Source repository of models, modules, and metadata that will be made available to researchers and practitioners to advance population health and social sciences and facilitate the development of customized decision support tools.

Policy applications & placement opportunities

Commissioned computer simulation models to support real-world policy and planning decisions are increasingly being undertaken across our international sites, providing placement opportunities for capacity building.

Transdisciplinary Academic Programs

We are supporting our partner institutions provide a range of transdisciplinary boot camps, short courses, and more intensive training relevant to the application of computer simulation and advanced research technologies in the health and social sectors.

Our Board

Testimonials from policy makers using computer simulation to inform policy and planning

'The simulation modelling that we’re using to inform our decision making in Tasmania brings systems thinking to life. It combines different systems science methods in an applied way, enabling us to quantify what will happen over time if we pull different policy levers simultaneously.

It brings together key stakeholders and different agencies responsible for implementing policies and programs. They get us all on the same page, guiding our thinking to see the big picture.

This is perhaps the greatest advantage of systems tools.'

Manager, Partnership Development, Public Health Services, Tasmanian Dept. of Health
Systems modelling & simulation to inform reduction of alcohol-related harms (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Mark Heffernan, Geoff McDonnell & Jacqueline Davison through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, The Sax Institute)
'It’s a glass box rather than a black box, which is important in terms of believing the model…the thing that is important for me is that it’s robust, that it involves clinicians, prevention practitioners and academics in building the model, and locates the evidence to support the model – it’s credible.'
Executive Director, Centre for Population Health, NSW Health
Systems modelling and simulation to inform reductions in childhood overweight & obesity (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Mark Heffernan, Geoff McDonnell, Nick Roberts & Vincy Li through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, The Sax Institute)
'The model is proving to be a useful decision-support tool. It is providing robust, substantive information that we can use to guide and select the most effective approach for smoking reduction.'
Senior Health Promotion Officer, Department of Health, Queensland
Systems modelling & simulation to inform reductions in smoking prevalence (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Adam Skinner, Pippy Barnett, Mark Heffernan & Geoff McDonnell through The Sax Institute)
'It is an understatement to say that this is truly excellent. Over the years I have watched so many health-related projects unfold in our region that seem to have little or no basis in evidence, and that have instead been founded on somebody’s ‘good idea at the time’. It is refreshing to see that the evidence around suicide prevention interventions has been pulled together to help direct service delivery that maximises outcomes.'
Chair, Clinical Governance Council of a rural Primary Health Network
Systems modelling & simulation to inform suicide prevention & mental health service planning (work undertaken by Jo-An Atkinson, Adam Skinner & Andrew Page through The Sax Institute)

Partner Institutions

CSART is an organization focused on capacity building and open access innovation from research and development activities. As such, CSARTs activities may provide Partner Institutions improved availability and access to workforce and/or training opportunities, innovation arising from our R&D activities, and infrastructure that will support provision of decision analytic services to improve population health and wellbeing. In return, Partner institutions support CSART activities in a variety of ways including in kind contributions, access to professional networks, and opportunities for placements / professional development in commissioned applications of computer simulation to support policy and planning.  We additionally welcome as Partners a range of policy agencies, NGOs and other organisations tackling complex health and social problems who wish to benefit from access to our national and international network of service providers across the spectrum of systems thinking, modelling & simulation, human behavioural modelling & simulation, participatory modelling & consensus building for collaborative action, implementation of advanced data collection, research & evaluation technologies, and short courses.  There are no financial barriers to becoming a Partner Institution of CSART and we welcome partners from all over the world. Contact us for more information. 

CSART does not enter into partnership arrangements with organisations whose interests and activities are in conflict with our mission and values. CSART considers any form of funding from organisations that are involved in activities and/or products that present a direct hazard to population health and wellbeing as being inappropriate. Some examples include companies involved in the production and sale of tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverage products.


CSART is grateful for the generous financial and in-kind contributions of the following foundations and organizations:


For questions or further information, please contact us.