Cooperative Research Centers Association

CRC review now with Minister

David Miles' Review of the Cooperative Research Centres Programme is with the Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, but the timing of a response is not known. 
Fears about the future of the programme seem to have disappeared. During review consultations, Mr Miles had repeatedly said that the CRC Programme was "not under threat, it is under review". However, the curtailing of the 17th funding round, an $80 million budget hit and reporting of some comments made by Minister Macfarlane had amplified concerns about with the viability of future funding rounds.
"We don't know the timing of the release of the Miles Review or any changed guidelines. Things are complicated as the government is preparing the 2015 budget and the science priorities are getting sorted out" said Tony Peacock, CEO of the CRC Association.
"My advice is that bidders should be ready. The funding round immediately after a review is often squeezed for time. That's what happened after the Howard Review and the O'Kane Review and looks likely to be the case for the Miles Review. My best guess is that the Minister will want to see changes to the guidelines and that industry leadership is likely to be further emphasised".
Registrations are filling up for the 2015 CRC Association Conference, The Australia 2040 Forum.

The CRC Association has room blocks at three hotels which will run out on the 24th of April. So book soon!

Australia’s world-leading Cooperative Research Centres Programme will be celebrating 25 years of science impact and achievement at its annual conference in Canberra on 25 May.
Federal cabinet ministers, CRC Programme leaders and policy experts will discuss the research challenges of the next 25 years in areas such as manufacturing, health, communications and the development of Australia’s north.

The designs, products and services developed by CRCs are part of our everyday life; from soft contact lenses and Tooth Mousse that helps repair dental enamel to new materials for aircraft wing surfaces that reduce fuel use and cut global carbon emissions. In food alone, CRCs have transformed the quality of Australian lamb, assessed salt tolerance in rice, improved the health of commercial pig herds, and developed new strategy for fisheries in the face of rising ocean temperatures.
There are only limited spots available at the conference and the workshops. Get in quick to reserve your ticket and get first choice of workshops. Be advised, it is a sitting week and accommodation will fill up.
The conference is one month after ANZAC Day and you will have a guided tour of the new World War One exhibit, Australia in the Great War, as part of the Welcome Function. Also in Canberra will be the James Turrell, A Retrospective, exhibit at the National Gallery of Australia. The National Gallery recently announced the option to do the tour nude! (Note: this is not compulsory)

So why not stay over and see some of the sights in Canberra.   

Mark 25-27 May in your diaries now!

Thank you to our sponsors !  

Register Now !


Additive manufacturing on show

Last week, the CRC Association and the Advanced Manufacturing CRC showed off 3D printed jet engine components up at Australian Parliament House to various ministers. The components were part of the ground breaking work done by Monash University’s MCAM facility which under the leadership of Professor Xinhua Wu, is now recognised globally as a leader in additive manufacturing of aerospace components.

Technology developed at the Advanced Manufacturing CRC in the field of additive manufacturing enabled the formation of AMAERO Engineering, a spin off out of Monash University, who built the engine.

Simon Marriott, Managing Director of Advanced Manufacturing CRC, says this process could reduce the time frame from three months, using conventional milling and turning, down to five days depending on the part.

Australia’s excellence in the field of additive manufacturing has gained the interest of aerospace companies such as Safran Microturbo, Airbus and Boeing.

The Hon. Josh Frydenberg, the Assistant Treasurer, was particular impressed by the examples on show. The CRC falls within the Minister’s electorate of Kooyong.  

Also on display were examples of 3D printed medical scaffolds printed at RMIT, a participant in the AMCRC, used in tissue and bone regeneration. Using a scanner such a 3D scaffold can be printed to the exact dimensions of a patient.   

The Association also met with Senator John Madigan, Senator Kim Carr, Minister Ian Macfarlane, Parliamentary Secretary - Karen Andrews and Tony Zappia, member for Makin,  who all took great interest.

The 3D printed jet engine in its entirety will be on display at the CRC Showcase held as part of the Australia 2040 Forum in May. Please register now.
The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry and Science; The Hon. Karen Andrews, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science; Simon Marriott, Managing Director Advanced Manufacturing CRC.
Simon Marriott, Managing Director of Advanced Manufacturing CRC; The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Assistant Treasurer. 
WHO-BHVI joint Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia discusses the rapidly rising prevalence and impact of myopia.

Key scientists, researchers and clinical experts from around the world discussed the rapidly increasing prevalence, the vision, social and economic impact of myopia and reports that myopia is now the leading cause of blindness in older people in Tajimi, Japan1 and in Shanghai, China.2 Professor Holden3 reported that BHVI had estimated that 5 billion people will have myopia in 2050, with almost a billion having high myopia. Professor Holden said that “vision impairment and blindness was rising in children from uncorrected myopia and in adults from the pathological consequences of myopia later in life.”

The meeting reviewed evidence on the epidemiology, aetiology, vision consequences, pathology, social and economic impact, morbidity associated with, and interventions that may be helpful in reducing the threat of myopia. Dr Serge Resnikoff said that “a major contribution from the meeting was the definition and description of the retinal condition that causes blindness with myopia so that future surveys can accurately record the number of people with vision impairment and blindness from myopia.”

Will Australia Catapult its innovation into the 21st century?

By Jenni Lightowlers, Partner, FAL Lawyers

Having helped commercialise the outcomes of research in Australia for the last twenty years, I find it opportune to reflect on the current lack of certainty regarding R&D funding that is so fundamental to the ongoing economic success and health of our nation. R&D investment, and the structures that underpin them, must be addressed as a national and urgent priority.
In the past year, the government has suspended much of its financial support for R&D while it conducts a review of research priorities and government funding provided to support R&D initiatives. As a consequence, we are losing valuable intellectual capital as thousands of researchers seek positions overseas and, as highlighted by the recent dramas in the Senate and the linking of scientific infrastructure support to the Higher Education reform agenda, many of Australia’s world class facilities and programs have just avoided the risk of closure.
The Miles Review and other government reviews into R&D programs afford a once in a generation opportunity to streamline programs and empower researchers across all stages of the R&D spectrum to achieve targets –without the existing levels of regulation which have grown over the life of many current programs.
A model that has gained traction with government is Innovate UK’s Catapult Centres Indeed, the Catapults appear to be the “inspiration” for the Industry Growth Centres, launched by the Department of Industry in late 2014.

Click here to continue reading.

Concert noise levels put hearing at risk

The  HEARing Cooperative Research Centre has embarked on a pilot study to measure noise levels at venues, talking to patrons, musicians and staff in a bid to come up with practical measures to prevent hearing loss. It also has the unlikely support of Music Victoria, the peak body for musicians and live music in the state. (When the Foo Fighters played Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, there were restrictions similar to those in Brisbane and staff were advised to wear earplugs.) The researchers want to do for recreational noise what their predecessors did for workplace noise.

“A lot of our messages have been directed at individuals and trying to give them the information to make whatever choices they need to make,” says the HEARing CRC’s Elizabeth Beach. “But we also recognise that we need to go to the source to see if we can mitigate the noise levels. We’re not regulators or lawmakers so we go for research and, by linking up with the venues that have the noise, look for ways to protect people but not impede their enjoyment.”

Beach says the average noise level in clubs is about 98dB but surveys suggest 90 per cent of people who go there would prefer the volume turned down a bit.

Click here to read more. 

Wound CRC and Cell Therapy Manufacturing CRC Collaborate To Transform Wound Outcomes

The Wound Management Innovation CRC (WMI CRC) and Cell Therapy Manufacturing CRC (CTM CRC) are collaborating for a brighter future for wound sufferers.

The two CRCs have signed a collaboration agreement to strengthen cooperation and interaction for the development of new technologies and therapies for wound management.

The core business of the WMI CRC is to conduct research, development and clinical translation to directly influence and benefit wound sufferers. This includes conducting clinical trials, training and education (to patients, carers and health professionals), and developing new models for the delivery of best practice.

CTM CRC, through intervention with smart materials, is committed to the cost-effective manufacture and rapid translation of cell therapies for a range of clinical conditions.

“We are well positioned to work collaboratively with the WMI CRC. Our technology developments for the treatment of diabetic wounds align well with the objectives of the WMI CRC. Access to further clinical and patient networks through the WMI CRC will be beneficial as we progress towards clinical trials,” said Dr Sherry Kothari, CEO of CTM CRC.
“We are delighted to commence this collaboration with CTM CRC. This work will bring the emerging field of cell therapy and apply it to a specific wound type.  We of course hope to build on this success as cell therapy becomes more established in many other areas of medicine.” said Dr Ian Griffiths, CEO of WMI CRC.

Click here to read more.

Research collaboration tackling the feral problem

Rabbits, wild dogs, feral pigs, feral cats, foxes, mice and carp – take your pick from the plethora of pest problems savaging Australia’s agricultural sector and the environment. New technologies, products and building national capability will be reviewed this week at a forum in Canberra for over 120 national and international delegates associated with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre’s (IACRC) 5-year, $72 million collaborative innovation program.

CEO of the IACRC, Andreas Glanznig, said, “The IACRC’s 27-partner collaboration for pest animal R&D is Australia’s largest and we are working on strategic, scientific solutions and technologies to deal with complex pest animal problems that are costing our agricultural sector over a $1 billion annually.”

“Our environment is also paying a hefty price. Introduced pest animals are the greatest threat to the survival of our native mammals. Native species are in decline and facing an uphill battle to survive from the feral menace.”

States and Territories, major industry bodies, universities and international partners are participating in the IACRC, seeing the value in increasing the R&D and national capability of responding to the risk of pest animals.

Click here to read more.

CRC for Low Carbon Living PhD/Masters Scholarships

Do you have a passion for sustainability and an interest in contributing towards the development of tools, knowledge, techniques and technologies for a low-carbon built environment?

The CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) is offering scholarships for PhD and Masters by Research.

For Australian students, these scholarships are valued at $65,000 over two years for Masters and $95,000 over three years for PhD students to help complete your studies. International applications and top-up awards will also be considered. Scholarship positions are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

The CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) is a national research and innovation hub that supports Australian industry to be globally competitive in the low carbon built environment sector. It brings together property, planning, engineering and policy organisations with leading Australian researchers. CRCLCL develops new social, technological and policy tools for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.

Please contact the CRCLCL Education Leader, Denny McGeorge or Sara Fagir to find out more on how you could improve your expertise and career with a CRCLCL research degree. Alternatively, visit their website here.

Australian science shines for Pfizer

A new collaboration with Australia's Monash University is the latest of many partnerships between global biopharmaceutical company Pfizer and Australian research institutes.

‘We have been active participants in many of the Australian government’s programs that are designed to support collaborations between companies and academic research groups, such as the Australian Research Council Linkage grants and CRC program,’ Dr Daniel Grant, Head of External Research and Development (R&D) Innovation for Pfizer in Australia.

‘It is great to have programs that are relevant to pharmaceutical companies; and that, we hope, will ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for patients both in Australia and around the world.’

Pfizer is a core industry participant in Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health (CRCMH). Pfizer is helping to fund research aimed at enabling earlier diagnosis for diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Schizophrenia.

Currently, there are no reliable early diagnostic markers available for detecting neuro-degenerative diseases and psychoses meaning these debilitating conditions can’t be diagnosed before the onset of mental decline.

‘The work of the CRCMH is very exciting and Pfizer has been involved in the CRCMH from its inception. We continue to look for opportunities to grow our interaction with the collaborating partners and in doing so progress the important work of discovering early biomarkers that have the potential to advance the development of new therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease, psychoses, and mood disorders,’ Dr Grant said.

Click here to read more.

Survey calls for national biosecurity body

An independent survey of Plant Biosecurity CRC stakeholders has called for national leadership and coordination of Australian plant biosecurity RD&E.

The survey, undertaken to inform a Commonwealth performance review of the organisation, was highly positive over a range of measures, while highlighting some areas of focus for the future.

55 respondents drawn from PBCRC researchers, industry and research organisation representatives, and science advisors answered survey questions on governance, research, results, performance and future direction.

“We were gratified to see that the majority of respondents rated PBCRC highly in each area, especially in terms of collaboration, end-user involvement, research quality and portfolio balance,” said Dr Michael Robinson, CEO of PBCRC.

Click here to continue reading.

CRCSI takes out swag of industry awards at the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards in February.

Team CRCSI won the JK Barrie Award for Overall Excellence in the spatial industry. It is the highest level of excellence and achievement in the industry.

Dr Nathan Quadros along with AAM Pty Ltd and NGIS Australia won the Award for People and Community, and Phil Delaney was recognised as the Young Professional of the Year. Straight off the back of the awards event, Nathan Quadros and the NGIS team under the Pacific Island Coastal Inundation Capacity Building & Planning project provided mapping assistance as part of the Cyclone Pam Vanuatu recovery approach.

Using CRCSI and NGIS Australia mapping technologies, project leaders Dr Nathan Quadros and Nathan Eaton, and team were able to map food drop locations to aide local (on the ground) support.
Dr Nathan Qaudros, Dr Peter Woodgate (CEO) and Phil Delaney
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15 April, Melbourne
InSearch: Unlocking the secrets of Parkinson's
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25 May, Canberra
DibbsBarker CRC Workshops

For more information click here.

25-27 May, Canberra
Australia 2040 Forum
his year is the 25th Anniversary of the Cooperative Research Centres Program. To celebrate this milestone, we are holding our annual conference in Canberra

Click here for more information.

16 June 2015, Adelaide
National Workshop on Nuclear Energy for Australia
here for more information.

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

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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.


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