Cooperative Research Centers Association

Professor Brien Holden passes away

Members of the CRC community will be shocked and deeply saddened to learn that the CEO of the Vision CRC, Professor Brien Holden OAM, passed away on Monday night.

Brien was a very great Australian and a great world citizen who had improved the sight of many millions of people. His dedication to better vision for the poorest people on earth was just one of the many facets of a remarkable person. He was also a great scientist, leader, businessman and mentor.

The Vision Cooperative Research Centre formally ended its tenure as a CRC just four weeks ago. Vision CRC superceded the Cooperative Research Centre for Eye Research and Technology (CRCERT), which was established in 1991 as one of the first 15 CRCs.  It has been a phenomenal success story in every sense. With research partners UNSW and the CSIRO, the CRC developed and commercialised the Focus Night & Day™ contact lenses which dominate the world market and brought in around a quarter of a billion dollars in royalties to the CRC. 
The Institute for Eye Research at the University of New South Wales was renamed the Brien Holden Vision Institute in March 2010 and Brien Holden Vision subsidiaries were set up to try to capture more of the commercialisation benefits of research.
"Brien Holden was probably the first CEO of another CRC I met when I attended my first CRC Association Conference in Perth in 2001" said Tony Peacock, CEO of the CRC Association. "I immediately liked Brien and we became good friends over the next 15 years, even though I might only see or talk to him briefly a few times a year".
"To me, Brien represented the very best of what science can achieve. He brought together teams to crack hard issues. He took the research through the huge challenge of commercialisation. He was always looking for new opportunities and he poured the benefits of his research and commercialisation back into the least fortunate people in society. There is no one I respected more".
CRC Association News was already set to lead with another incredible story from the Vision CRC, with Brien Holden Vision Institute teaming up with U2 singer, Bono, to deliver vision improvements in Africa. Read that story below.
The CRC Association extends its very deep sympathy to Brien's  family and colleagues.
The Brien Holden Vision Institute has issued a press release. Read it here.

Bono, Revo and Brien Holden Vision Institute join the fight against vision impairment

Eyewear brand Revo and U2 lead singer Bono are joining forces with the Brien Holden Vision Institute - an essential participant in the Vision CRC - to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision impairment.
“Eye tests and eye examinations are at the front line of eye care. But for millions of people without access, the simplest problems go untreated. It’s unnecessary and avoidable,” said Kovin Naidoo, Global Director of Programs, Brien Holden Vision Institute.
When consumers purchase Revo sunglasses, $10 from the sale of every pair will be donated by Revo to the “Buy Vision, Give Sight” initiative. To execute the initiative, Revo and Bono are partnering with the Brien Holden Vision Institute to provide sustainable solutions for eye care and end avoidable blindness and vision impairment in under-resourced communities.
Bono, who has a long track record in global health, particularly as an activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, was diagnosed with glaucoma 20 years ago. His experience with glaucoma, for which he has received excellent treatment, has made him determined to find a way to increase access to frontline eye health services for others.
“The ‘Buy Vision, Give Sight’ campaign is a very personal one for me,” said Bono.
“Thanks to good medical care my eyes are okay, but tens of millions of people around the world with sight problems don’t have access to glasses, or even a basic eye test. Poor eyesight may not be life-threatening, but it dramatically affects your life and your livelihood if you aren’t able to fix it.  When we met with experts, they said the number one problem is untreated poor vision, which prevents a child from learning in school, or an adult from performing their job. Sight is a human right and the ‘Buy Vision, Give Sight’ initiative will help ensure millions of people have access to the eye exams and glasses they need to see.”
"With Brien Holden, we found a partner doing remarkable work, hand-in-hand with local communities.  It’s mind-expanding what they are achieving; we’re very excited to work in partnership with them and Revo," Bono added.
Yehuda Shmidman, Sequential Brands Group CEO, commented, “We are very excited about this partnership. Revo’s pioneering lens technology has always put eye-health central to Revo products and we believe Revo buyers will embrace the idea that their purchase is helping someone else. We’re very proud to support Bono and the Brien Holden Vision Institute in their efforts to bring basic eye care services to millions of people around the world."
Professor Brien Holden, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute said,"It is extremely helpful that Revo and Bono recognise the impact that uncorrected vision impairment has on the lives of the 625 million people globally who do not have access to a simple eye examination or pair of glasses.  Revo and Bono's commitment to our programs will have a lasting impact on millions of lives globally."
The funds donated by Revo will help pay for basic eye care services, particularly eye tests and prescription glasses, and also build stronger eye care services in target communities for the longer term by training local people to provide eye care and detect eye diseases.
During U2’s Innocence + Experience World Tour, Bono will exclusively wear Revo sunglasses. He has designed a capsule collection of sunglasses for the brand, available in the North American fall, which will include lenses outfitted with Revo’s LMSTM technology. As with all Revo sunglasses, $10 dollars from each pair of the Bono for Revo collection will go to the Brien Holden Vision Institute.
Click here for more information.

Global Health and wellbeing survey

The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and Brain & Mind Research Institute (University of Sydney) are conducting a pioneering global survey on health and wellbeing. The results from this survey will considerably improve global understanding of health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on men's health. It will be used to inform education programs within health and mental health sectors across each participating country and the world.

All people aged sixteen years and over living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US are encouraged to take part.

Professor Burns, Chief Executive of the Young and Well CRC, was recently interviewed on ABC Radio National on the topic. Click here to listen and here to do the survey.

Growth Centre gets tick of approval

The Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, has approved the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre which is part of the $225 million Industry Growth Centre Initiative. The growth center headquarters will be located at the CSIRO’s Food Innovation Centre in Werribee, Victoria.

The four main areas the growth centre will be focusing on will be reducing regulatory burden, commercialising new products and services, engaging with global markets and supply chains, and improving workforce skills. FIAL will receive $15.4m from the Australian Government for the first four years of its operation as a Growth Centre, and look to increase this investment from industry and others sources.

The new growth centre board met for the first time on the 29th June 2015 where various strategic issues relating to the food and agribusiness sector were discussed. Details about the forthcoming sectoral strategy that will be used to align the Growth Centre activities will be shared over the coming year.

Diagnosing dementia - what does the future hold?

The CRC for Mental Health is pleased to join with Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation and the Florey Institute for a free public event on 13 August, 6 - 8pm at the Melbourne Brain Centre. Join Paul Barclay (Host ABC Big Ideas) and an expert panel as they discuss the future of detecting and diagnosing dementia, and how this research could help find a treatment.
The panel will consist of:
  • Mr Graeme Samuel AC (President Alzheimer's Australia)
  • Professor Ashley Bush (Chief Scientist, CRC for Mental Health)
  • Dr Rachel Buckley (AADRF Fellow, The University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Shaun Frost (Research Fellow, Preventative Health Flagship, CSIRO)
The event will be recorded for broadcast on ABC Radio National. More information and registrations for the event 

Entries open for The Australian Innovation Challenge

Entries are open for the $65,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge, honouring excellence in fields from minerals and energy to environmental science and community services.

Now is your chance to showcase your bright idea by entering the awards, which are run by The Australian in association with Shell with the support of the federal Department of Industry and Science.

Innovation policy expert Terry Cutler is chairing a panel of leaders from the science community, industry and government who will judge the awards.

The Australian and Shell will champion the top entries, featuring them prominently in The Weekend Australian over several weeks and showcasing them on the Challenge website.

The online entry form and details of the awards, including category definitions, the judging criteria, the judging panel, supplementary material requirements, the entry procedure, rules and stories on past winners, are available at:

The five professional categories open to specialists (including scientists, engineers, technologists, educators and innovators in community services) are:

  • Environment, Agriculture and Food
  • Minerals and Energy
  • Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure
  • Health
  • Education and Community Services
Click here for more information.

Outlook details northern Australia fire season

The fire season outlook for northern Australia is detailed in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2015, released by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC as a Hazard Note.

The Outlook provides information to help fire authorities make strategic decisions in resource planning and prescribed fire management to reduce the negative impacts of bushfire. The above normal outlook is due to high rainfall in parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory during the wet season, leading to strong vegetation growth. This is despite the wet season ending relatively early. It is a similar story on the central Queensland coast, with Severe Cyclone Marcia resulting in locally significant rain and subsequent strong vegetation growth. In north west Queensland the above normal outlook is due to rainfall deficiencies for the past three wet seasons. This is combined with above average temperatures that are expected over coming months.

The Outlook is a product of the Northern Australian Fire Managers Forum, which was held in Cairns, Queensland in June 2015. Fire managers from across Australia’s north discussed natural hazards issues in the region, with 40 attendees from Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and national agencies. On the second day, a field trip viewed local hazard management practices.

The forum was hosted by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. View the Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2015 at

Batterham Medal – only one month for nominations

Nominations for the Batterham Medal are now open and will close on 21 August, 2015.

The 2015 Batterham Medal will be awarded to one of Australia’s most innovative young engineers.

The Medal is an early career award for a graduate engineer who has achieved substantial peer/industry recognition for his/her work in the past five years.

The Academy administers the award on behalf of the Group of Eight Deans of Engineering and Associates and the Medal will be awarded at ATSE’s Oration Dinner on 27 November 2015 in Melbourne.

The award consists of a medal (The Batterham Medal) and a cash prize of $5000.

The winner will be an engineering graduate of an Australian university, under 40 at 1 January 2015 and will:

1.    have demonstrated excellence, innovation and impact in a field of engineering;

2.    be clearly acknowledged by peers for a signature contribution to engineering in the  five years prior to his/her nomination; and

3.    have advanced the standing of the engineering profession.

The Batterham Medal recognises Professor Robin Batterham AO FREng FAA FTSE, an Australian science and technology leader who was Chief Scientist of Australia from 1999 to 2006, President of the Academy from 2007 to 2012 and is Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

The Batterham Medal Guidelines and Nomination form are online

AICD publication on NFP and Governance

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, chairperson of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, has recently written a brief chapter on CRCs and government board governance, in a new publication from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) on Not-For-Profit (NFP) and governance.
The publication can be downloaded from the AICD member section in publications.

Position Available

Research Coordinator - CRC for Space Environment Management

Project Coordinator (Research Contracts) - ANLEC R&D
Forward to Friend
Contact Information


Unit 1/10 Bourke St. Barton ACT 2600
to the Burbury Hote

Jordan Gardner:
02 6273 1124

Mahli Jackson:
02 6273 0624

Diagnosing dementia - what does the future hold
13 August 2015, Melbourne Brain Centre

Join Paul Barclay (Host ABC Big Ideas) and an expert panel as they discuss the future of detecting and diagnosing dementia, and how this research could help find a treatment.
Click here to register.

INORMS 2016 Conference
11-15 September 2015

Click here for more information.

2nd Water Sensitive Cities Conference 2015
8 September
The second Water Sensitive Cities Conference.This conference provides a unique opportunity for the CRCWSC to share its latest research insights that integrate some 20 different disciplines, and stems from more than 35 individual research projects and research synthesis and adoption activities. 

Click here for more information.

6th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference (CleanUp 2015)
13–17 September 2015, Melbourne
The conference will provide an international forum to discuss all aspects of contaminated site assessment, management and remediation.

Click here for more information.

9-10 September 2015, Sydney
Putting Rubber on the Road - Medical Research Innovation Conference

Click here for more information.

One Health EcoHealth 2016
4-7 December, Melbourne
First congress to bring together One Health and EcoHealth Communities

Click here for more information.

CRCs In The News
No RSS items found.
News from the Minister
No RSS items found.
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
Cooperative Research News is published fortnightly by the Cooperative Research Centres Association and distributed free of charge. The CRC Association welcomes contributions but does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material published, or in any linked site. The material in this Newsletter may include the views or recommendations of third parties, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the CRC Association, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. Editorial responsibility is accepted by Professor Tony Peacock, Chief Executive, Cooperative Research Centres Association. Inquiries about publication should be directed here.


This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
CRC Association, Unit1/10 Burke St. Barton ACT 2600,  Tel: (02) 6273 0624,  Email: