Cooperative Research Centers Association

CRC Program cut by $80 million

Staley: "Disappointing, but we have the chance to prove ourselves"
The Commonwealth Budget has included a cut to the Cooperative Research Centre Program of $80 million over the forward estimates. The current funding round will not proceed as planned with only continuing CRCs able to apply for funding at the  3  July deadline. Funding for the following two years of new CRCs will be affected, but  the extent is not yet clear. The future of the Program will be determined following a review, which was already scheduled to be conducted this year.
"Obviously it is bad news" said CRC Association CEO Tony Peacock last night. "I hoped we had done enough to show the Government the value of the CRCs, and I do believe they understand its value. CRCs deliver applied research that has been demonstrated to boost GDP". 
"$80 million is a lot, and I feel terrible for those people that have been working so hard on the current funding round. But no existing CRCs are affected, including those in contract negotiations following the last round. We have a major review coming up and we need to redouble our efforts again to demonstrate the value of the Program" said Dr. Peacock.
"The coming review will be critical to our future" said CRC Association Chairman Tony Staley. "Every time we have been reviewed in the past, we have shown that cooperative, large scale collaboration with the end-users in the driver's seat is effective. Seeing the amazing outcomes from the current CRCs, I'm confident we can show that value to the Government".
Dr. Peacock pointed out that the Government had to make some very tough choices. "Obviously, I'd have preferred no cuts. But I recognise that the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme and the ARC's Future Fellows scheme are really valuable too, and they were without any budget. So I'm glad resources were found for them. Many of our partner agencies like CSIRO and DSTO are going to go through pain, and others have gone altogether. The Government has to make these hard decisions and our job is to make sure CRCs continue to perform. Clearly the Government wants to see effective applied research working closely with industry -- no one is better positioned to deliver that than the CRCs".

What the Association Knows

The reduction of grant funding represents less than 12% of the anticipated funding to be allocated to the program over this period. Of the uncommitted funds in the program this represents approximately half of those funds over the forward estimates.

The 17th CRC Program selection round will not proceed. However, applications from eligible existing CRCs seeking an extension of funding will be considered separately.  This includes CRC’s seeking an extension under the priority Public Good funding mechanism.  The Round 17 due date for applications of 3 July 2014 will still apply.  Applications submitted will be considered on merit and as with the normal competitive process, funding is not guaranteed.

The budget decision will not impact on the current contractual arrangements for existing CRCs, successful Round 16 CRCs currently negotiating their contracts, or the process underway for the submission of a new combined manufacturing bid. In addition the government has committed to deliver on its vision for developing Northern Australia including considering the establishment of a dedicated CRC which will be informed by the current Northern Australia White Paper process.

KnowHow Issue Two is out !

In this issue of KnowHow, we examine a major new market for Australian ingenuity — Asia — and profile nine organisations building on Australian innovation to make a difference in Asian countries.

Join us on the journey to get people talking about Australian research. As Professor Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist, points out in the Foreword to this issue, Australia has a long way to go in our strategy to build on our science successes. Let’s celebrate the achievements that we have made so far.

Click the magazine cover to read the latest magazine

Innovating with Asia is full steam ahead. Register now and show your support for CRCs and the Program.

In Perth and want to discuss the Program and application process?

If you would like to speak with representatives from the Department about the CRC Program and the application process, get in touch to arrange a meeting in Perth on Tuesday 20 or Wednesday 21 May 2014.

Travel Deals

The Cooperative Research Centres Association has signed a corporate deal with Virgin Australia which offers Members substantial discounts across the whole Virgin network, including international flights with Virgin Australia airline partners.
CRC Association Members, including Affiliate and Associate Members, can enjoy savings of up to 35% of published fares when they book through our recommended agency, Campus Travel. Every published fare across the whole Virgin network is discounted for CRC Association members. The discounts will be automatically applied when you book through Campus Travel. Members can arrange their accounts with Campus Travel by contacting Zoe Brookes our Account Manager ( Campus offers many other benefits, and will continue to offer our substantial Qantas benefits as well.
Virgin is offering a discounted rate for access to the Virgin Australia domestic lounges of a $100 joining fee and $200 annual fee.
To celebrate the CRCA's deal with Virgin Australia, 20 Members will be accelerated to Velocity Gold Status. The first 20 Members at "Innovating with Asia" in Perth who seek out Campus Travel's Jamison Warren will be offered Gold Status, which gives you a range of benefits including access to Virgin Domestic lounges (limited to one per Member).
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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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