Cooperative Research Centers Association

Space Environment Management CRC Lifts Off

The Minister for Industry, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane, launched the CRC for Space Environment Management yesterday at Australian Parliament House to a terrific response.
The CRC, based at Mt Stromlo in the Australian Capital Territory, was one of the CRCs funded in Round 16 and will deal with the growing problem caused by space debris.
Dr. Ben Greene, the Chief Executive Officer of the CRC said, “There are more than 300,000 items of debris orbiting the earth. There is so much debris that it is colliding with itself, and creating more debris. A catastrophic avalanche of collisions which could quickly destroy all orbiting satellites is now possible.”
“Our initial aim is to reduce the rate of debris proliferation caused by new collisions, and then to remove debris using ground-based lasers. Preliminary research has been performed by the individual CRC participants over the past decade, and we will now work together in the CRC to drive the program forward,” Dr Greene said.
The launch also saw the official signing of the partnership between the CRC and the Japanese Institute for Information and Communications Technology (NICT), one of the CRCs essential participants. Dr. Fumihiko Tomita, Vice President and Chief Research & Strategy Officer of NICT, personally travelled to Australia for the signing. Other participants include Lockheed Martin, Optus, EOS Space Systems and RMIT University.
The Minister briefly touched upon the CRC Programme Review saying that, whilst he did not want to pre-empt Mr Miles report, he is confident the Review will find that the Programme is an efficient way of doing large scale collaborative research. The intense international interest in the Space Environment Management CRC shows how excellent research and business can come to together to address major challenges.
Click here for the Minister’s release.
Signing the agreement between NICT Japan and SERC.

Front row
: Fumihiko Tomita,  Vice President and Chief Research & Strategy Officer of NICT Japan; Brett Biddington, Director (Independent)
Back row: Hiroo Kunimori, Senior Researcher, NICT Japan; Ben Greene, CEO of SERC.

Click image to enlarge.
Left to right: Hiroo Kunimori, Senior Researcher, NICT Japan; Fumihiko Tomita,  Vice President and Chief Research & Strategy Officer of NICT Japan; the Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry; Brett Biddington, Director (Independent) of SERC.
Click to enlarge image.

Many thanks to Dr. Megan Clark AC

Dr. Megan Clark AC will be farewelled from her role as CEO of the CSIRO tonight in Canberra. The CRC Association wishes to acknowledge Dr. Clark’s very important contribution to Australian science and innovation.

“Megan Clark was very much involved with CRCs before she joined the CSIRO and was a great supporter while CEO of that organisation. We are delighted she will deliver the 2015 Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society at our conference next year in Canberra, and hope her involvement with CRCs continues beyond that,” said Dr. Tony Peacock, CEO of the CRC Association.

“CSIRO is an Australia icon and the CEO’s job is probably the hardest in Australian Science—everyone wants CSIRO to do everything."

"From a CRC perspective, there are two things we should hope for from the CEO of CSIRO: firstly, maintain the excellence of the science and secondly, keep making the place more industry friendly. Megan achieved both. We wish her all the very best."

The Australian Innovation Challenge

The $65,000 Australian Innovation Challenge recently took place in Canberra at the National Library of Australia. The challenge now in its fourth year, is run by The Australian in association with Shell and supported by the Department of Industry.

Two CRCs were finalists in this year’s awards: The CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) and the Advanced Manufacturing CRC (AMCRC).

CRC CARE was a finalist in the Environment category for their material matCARE which locks up toxins and AMCRC was a finalist in the Manufacturing category for their EDGe machine which makes polycrystalline diamond cutting tools for use on advanced composites. The EDGe machine was also the recent recipient of a CRC Association Award for Excellence in Innovation.

Among the finalists in the ICT category was Rustom Kanga of Sydney’s iOmniscient, whose technology allows complex analysis of video data from multiple sources, started from a single patent acquired in 2001 from the CRC for Sensor Signal and Information Processing. iOmniscient won in their category.

The CRC Association would like to congratulate the AMCRC and CRC CARE for being named finalists and iOmniscient for winning in their category.  

Click here for more information.
Adelaide ‘Living Laboratory’ to test new pathways to low carbon living.
The first Adelaide Living Laboratory (ALL) program was launched on 1 December 2014 when the South Australian Government announced a new partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) and the University of South Australia. The Laboratory will be an innovative research hub designed to investigate ways to lower carbon emissions in our built environment.

The four year venture is an action based research project located across three key development sites at Tonsley, Lochiel Park and Bowden where community, industry and university participants will undertake on site research. 

The unique program will help provide better understanding of low carbon living. It allows industry and the community to draw their research from current development sites to help shape the future of low carbon living and design both in South Australia and across the country. 
Professor Deo Prasad, CRCLCL CEO, said not only did the partnership allow participants to interact with similar CRCLCL projects across the country, it also opened up opportunities to collaborate with the growing network of European living laboratories. 

“A number of research projects in Australia are already underway and vary in focus from energy demand management and modelling to community engagement and the evaluation of broader cultural, physical, economic and social impacts of low carbon living,” Professor Prasad said.

Click here for more information.

2015 AIRG Medal for Australasian Technological Innovation in Large Industry

The next AIRG Medal will be for awarded for Australasian Technological Innovation in Large Industry at the AIRG Summer Meeting, which will also be AIRGs 50th Anniversay Meeting. The Award will be presented at the meeting dinner, to be held in Melbourne, 24 February 2015.

Nominations may be made at any time by email to However, only those nominations received by Tuesday 23 December 2014 will be considered for the next AIRG Recognition Award.

Click here for more information.

Dry spring sparks bushfire outlook update

Across south eastern Australia, spring has been unseasonably dry and with the expectation of a hot and dry summer the bushfire seasonal outlook for 2014-15 has been re-examined for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

This has resulted in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC issuing an update to the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook. View the new Outlook on the CRC's website.

This new edition, released as Hazard Note 003, replaces the previous Outlook for these three states, published as Hazard Note 002 in September.

The significant change in this Outlook is that more parts of south eastern Australia are now expected to experience above normal fire conditions. In these areas, it is more likely that the resources required to fight bushfires from within a region will be insufficient, with resources required from other areas of an affected state, interstate and possibly overseas.

Record October warmth across much of southern Australia has caused a rapid drawing of moisture from the landscape which is raising expectations of high fire danger in the south eastern states.

This has increased the bushfire potential in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania sufficiently to warrant the updating of the national perspective. The map reveals the updated bushfire outlook for southern Australia through to 2015. This map has been combined with the outlook for the northern fire season from July 2014, to show the areas of fire potential for all of Australia in 2014-15 (see Hazard Note 001).

View the full updated Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook at

Know How Edition 4 Out Now !

In this issue -Australia’s leaders in science. As scientists shift their focus to industry collaborations, KnowHow profiles the scientists making a mark here and overseas and looks at the Australian ingenuity that is achieving commercial outcomes on the world stage.

We also delve into the mega growth sector of agriculture, look at how advanced manufacturing could move us strongly into niche markets in cells and auto manufacturing, and examine the revolutionary vision correction technique that will prevent future generations from reaching for their reading glasses.

Click the image below to read the magazine.

Publishers Australia Recognises CRCs

Heather Catchpole, Editor of the CRC Association’s magazine, Know How: Where Science Meets Business, was recently a finalist at the 2014 Publishers Australia Excellence Awards in the Editor of the year – Business category for her work on Know How.

The publishing house behind Know How, Refraction Media, was also named a finalist in the Small Publisher of the Year category.

Yass Wants You !

Yass Valley Council have an ambitious plan to build a four-stage business hub that will be a $50 million multi infrastructure development with three separate office and business centres and a cultural centre located on the Canberra side of the Yass township.  There will be a courtyard and atrium that connects the four buildings with a landscape centrepiece.  Construction will commence mid 2015.
Yass Valley Council are seeking expressions of interest for Stage one of the business centre. 
Stage One
  • Three storey complex
  • Total area 3000m2
  • Underground parking. 
The third floor would be available for multi-tenanting and use Smart Work Centre. 
The ground floor is for commercial space and will also be the shopfront for Yass Valley Council and other government services.  It is proposed that Council administration will have one floor with the third floor being Yass Valley Council anticipate construction of Stage one to commence in mid 2015.
As Yass is 60km to Civic; The Precinct provides an alternative for industry and the Co-opeartive Research Centres to relocate, yet be close enough to commute.  Yass Valley Council believes The Precinct is an attractive alternative to be part of the Smart Work Centre for those to ‘hot desk’ a few days week or relocate their business to be part of The Precinct.
The advantage of the Smart Work Centre is that it would provide flexibility, innovation and the work-life balance for multiple employers; at the same time have facilities that would accommodate multiple users.  These facilities would include:
•             clerical services
•             printing
•             shared conference rooms
•             breakout areas
•             video conferencing facilities
•             store rooms
•             amenities
•             free carparking
The tenancy arrangements would be financially attractive and provide a secure, professional space that has secure data connection, a pool of high quality employees and professional stimulation with the entities that collaborate.
I believe this presents real opportunities for those CRC’s with a cost effective colocation opportunity that is close to Canberra and can also provide work-life balance.
If any of the CRC’s are interested in pursuing discussions please contact David Rowe on with the subject: attention David Rowe.
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8 December 2014, Melbourne
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8-10 December 2014, New South Whales
2014 Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference
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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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