Cooperative Research Centers Association

Minister accepts Miles

The Miles Review of the CRC Program has been handed down, with the Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, accepting all 18 recommendations. A new CRC Advisory Group is already in place and working towards revised guidelines for CRCs and the newly proposed CRC Projects, or CRC-Ps. A new funding round is likely to commence before Christmas, or shortly afterwards.
David Miles' review - Growth through innovation and collaboration - can be found here, and some reaction here and here. The CRC Association's reaction is published here
In summary, the CRC Program will become more intensely commercially focused and more aligned with the new Industry Growth Centres. In his speech to the CRC Conference in Canberra last week, Minister Macfarlane pointed out that although CRCs will be aligned with Growth Centres, they will not be confined to only the areas where a Growth Centre operates. The application procedure for CRCs is expected to be streamlined and all CRCs will now be companies limited by guarantee. 
"The simplification of procedures and options will benefit CRCs in getting set-up and getting on with the job at hand," said the CEO of the CRC Association, Dr Tony Peacock. "We've seen situations where one participant can cause months of delay because they take a particular view on their desired structure for a CRC - Mr Miles has cut through all that and I'm delighted the Minister has agreed".
"CRC-Ps have already caused an upsurge of interest in the CRC Program. I've already had several meetings with companies that can now see themselves in a leadership role in proposing a CRC Project. I would really encourage the government to stick to Miles' recommendation of looking at applications three times a year. I could see CRC-Ps inspiring a new level of interest from Australian business in collaboration with our public researchers - exactly what Australia needs," said Dr Peacock.
The CRC Association has expressed concern about two of the Miles recommendations: the "hard" 10-year limit on the life of a CRC; and the possible exclusion of non-commercial CRCs. Dr Peacock says, "There are a lot of situations where huge economic issues are at stake but the CRC itself might not be commercial. For example, community resilience and recovery from natural disasters, might have enormous economic, social and environmental consequences at the same time. We would hate to think a CRC operating in that area is excluded in the future".
A new CRC Advisory Committee has been appointed to implement the recommendations of the review and to oversee the revised CRC Program. Distinguished business leader Mr Philip Clark AM will Chair the group, working with Dr Megan Clark AC, Dr Michele Allan and Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC.  It will operate as a committee under the Innovation Australia Board.

Australia 2040 Conference a huge success

The CRC Association's annual conference was held in Canberra last week. Delegates participated in stimulating discussion panels on "Australia 2040" and the R&D challenges ahead. Highlights of the meeting included:
  • Great presentations from our Early Career Researchers in the CSIRO-sponsored ECR speaking competition. Congratulations to Sally Bradford from the Young and Well CRC and the University of Canberra on her win. Sally's $6,000 prize means she can now contemplate a honeymoon - she is planning to get married a fortnight after submitting her PhD early in 2016. 
  • A thought provoking Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society by Dr Megan Clark AC.
  • A full house in the Parliamentary Theatre heard a packed day of excellent speakers.
  • Almost 400 people attended the CRC Showcase where they saw a selection of new developments from collaborative industry research. Hosted by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews, the Showcase enjoyed great interest. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was able to view just a few of the exhibits on display and address the crowd. He was obviously impressed by what he saw. Minister Ian Macfarlane actually changed his schedule on the day to give himself extra time to view all the exhibits and talk with the exhibitors. 
  • Around 40 Senators and Members of Parliament attended the Excellence in Innovation Awards Dinner as well as Ambassadors, High Commissioners and senior officials from at least 15 collaborating countries. Very senior government ministers were in attendance. 
  • 12 very well received workshops were delivered on the final day. Opposition spokesperson, Senator Kim Carr, addressed senior CRC leaders.
The CRC Association is very grateful to delegates and invitees for making the time to come to Canberra. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Our sponsors this year were very generous and enabled us to put on such an excellent event - we very sincerely thank them for supporting CRCs so strongly.
In 2016, we will be bringing forward the CRC Association's annual conference and staging it to coincide with the World Science Festival in Brisbane. Please reserve 8, 9 and 10 March to be in Brisbane for a unique event that will be concentrating on the interface of business and science. Sponsorship and program inquiries and suggestions are welcome and can be directed to

You can view and download the photos from the event here.
Communication in the future session: Professor Mike Aitken, Capital Markets CRC; Julie Inman-Grant, Twitter Australia; the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP; Minister for Communications.
Dr David Nation, Dairy Futures CRC; The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Tony Abbott; Noel Campbell, Australian Diary Farmers; Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senator for Victoria.
The Hon Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry and Science and Dr Larry Marshal, CSIRO, presenting Ms Sally Bradford, Young and Well CRC, with her certificate for winning the Showcasing Early Career Researchers competition.

$74M boost for minerals processing and manufacturing CRCs

The Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ian Macfarlane, announced $34.45 million in funding for the CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) and $40 million for the CRC for Innovative Manufacturing (IM CRC),  at the CRC Association’s annual conference last week in Canberra.

The IM CRC resulted from a request from the Minister to combine two bids in the 16th funding round, whilst CRC ORE was waiting on funding from the curtailed 17th funding round last year.

The CRC Association is very pleased that these CRCs have now been resolved so they can get on with delivering value for the Australian people. This funding will see CRC ORE and the IM CRC running through to 2021 and 2022 respectively.  

“CRCs are a highly successful way of bringing industry and research organisations together to apply the latest research knowledge to the real-world problems facing industry,” said Minister Macfarlane.

“More than 60 organisations, including multi-nationals, SMEs and peak industry bodies, will be involved in these CRCs. They will bring together a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as financial support, to increase productivity in their sectors”. 

Click here to view the minister’s media release.

Menzies scholarship open for allied health researchers 

The Menzies Foundation is looking for outstanding researchers who are shaping up to be the next generation of leaders in the Allied Health industry who are working to improve the health of Australians.
The $55,000 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences are now open for applications.

The scholarship, valued at $27,500 per year over two years, is open to any researcher studying at an Australian University and who has completed the first stage of their PhD.

Applications are now open and close on 30 June 2015

The funds can be used for a wide range of purposes, from conference travel expenses to helping cover living expenses over the two years.
In addition, the successful applicant can apply for a further $25,000 research grant aimed at developing their research project for the first four years of their research career.

You can see last year’s winners online at

For the full prospectus and to apply, head to

Position Available

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16 June 2015, Adelaide
National Workshop on Nuclear Energy for Australia

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13–17 September 2015, Melbourne
6th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference (CleanUp 2015)
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The Lowitja Institute AutoCRC CRC for Advanced
Composite Structures
Advanced Manufacturing CRC Australian Seafood CRC CRC for Low Carbon Living
Antarctic Climate &
Ecosystems (ACE) CRC
Deep Exploration
Technologies CRC
CRC for Biomarker
Bushfire CRC Cancer Therapeutics CRC Capital Markets CRC
Smart Services CRC CO2CRC CRCMining
Data to Decisions CRC CRC for Contamination
Assessment and Remediation
of the Environment (CARE)
Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC
Dairy Futures CRC DMTC Ltd Energy Pipelines CRC
The HEARing CRC CRC for Mental Health Invasive Animals CRC
Biosecurity CRC
CRC for Optimising
Resource Extraction
Young and Well CRC
Oral Health CRC CRC for Polymers High Integrity Pork CRC
Poultry CRC  Rail Manufacturing CRC CRC for Spatial Information
CRC for Sheep
Industry Innovation
Wound Management
Innovation CRC
CRC for Remote
Economic Participation
Vision CRC CRC for Water Sensitive Cities CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity
CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders  Space Environment Management CRC
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