Cooperative Research Centers Association

Driving research and delivering results for Australia

"The Australian Government will create three new Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and extend four existing CRCs to drive research that will deliver practical benefits to industry and the community in fields including manufacturing, agriculture, health care and data security.

Announcing almost $186 million in funding, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said CRCs bring together key industry partners, world class researchers, the community and Government to create new opportunities and develop solutions to assist Australian industries.

“The benefits of collaboration are well known. These seven industry-driven CRCs will bring together more than 130 organisations across Australia and internationally, including 60 industry partners and organisations in Asia, Europe and United States,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“CRCs provide amazing opportunities. Australian companies such as EOS Space Systems will collaborate with world class researchers and large multi nationals such as Lockheed Martin to develop new technologies, gain access to global markets and improve their competitiveness.

“The CRC Program is a joint effort - since 1991, the Australian Government has committed more than $3.7 billion to CRCs and CRC participants have contributed a further $11.7 billion in cash and in-kind support.

“Significant funding for long term research projects allows CRCs to tackle ambitious projects. Strong competition for funding results in high quality projects being supported and I am sure these CRCs will continue to deliver major benefits to Australia.”

The three new CRCs are:

  • The Rail Manufacturing CRC ($31 million) which will develop products, technologies and supply chain networks to increase the capability and globally competitive position of the rail industry.
  • The Data to Decisions CRC ($25 million) which will develop robust tools to maximise the benefits that Australia’s defence and national security sector can extract from big data to reduce national security threats.
  • The Space Environment Management CRC ($19.8 million) which will monitor, analyse and manage space debris and develop new technologies and strategies to preserve the space environment for the benefit of Australia.

The four extended CRCs are:

  • The Hearing CRC ($28 million) which will develop new devices, therapies and service delivery models to improve the prevention, detection and remediation of hearing disorders.
  • The Cancer Therapeutics CRC ($34 million) which will build on the drug-discovery engine it has already created to discover effective new drugs for major cancers and improve the lives of Australian children with cancer through tailored and personalised treatment.
  • The Capital Markets CRC ($32.4 million) which will develop operational technology solutions to enhance the integrity and efficiency of financial and health markets in Australia and globally.
  • The CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation ($15.5 million) which will enhance sheep wellbeing and productivity, value-based trading of sheep meat and deliver affordable technologies to transform the Australian sheep industry.

“In addition to this funding, the Advanced Manufacturing and Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRCs are well positioned to assist the Australian manufacturing industry to adapt to new, high tech manufacturing processes and will assist in opening new markets. These applications displayed merit and are proposing to address issues of national importance. As such I have asked these CRCs to submit a combined proposal for my consideration.”

More information about the successful new and extended CRCs is available at

Applications for the 17th CRC Program selection round will open on 3 March 2014 and close on 3 July 2014."

Commentary by Tony Peacock, CEO, of the CRC Association.
Well, it took a while for the announcement to come out, but when it finally did, the Industry Minister didn't muck around.  He has funded a couple of bold new CRCs, strongly backed current performers and has given clear direction that he wants a highly potent manufacturing CRC.

Once again, the CRC Program has funded successful CRCs for the amounts sought. The Round was initially announced by Chris Evans (14 months, but three Ministers back) with $240 million available and $50 quarantined for manufacturing CRCs. Since that time the Lowitja Institute (CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health), the Antarctic CRC and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC were all funded as "priority public good CRCs" to a total of $97 million. With $186 million announced today and an unknown amount reserved for the combined manufacturing CRC, the government looks to have used every dollar available to it.

There are a number of surprises in the Industry Minister's announcement. The biggest by far is that two of the manufacturing bids presented were rejected in their current format and asked to come together. This is a clear message that the government wants to see research institutions drop territorial disputes and serve the needs of the country. The government has signalled that it will not be a passive investor in CRC bids, but will give direction.

Future bidders should take note. 

The next surprise for me was that Cybersecurity and the Wildlife Biodiversity bids both missed out completely. Having participated in some preparation and mock interviews for both, I know they were both extremely strong bids, illustrating the strength of the competition to get a Cooperative Research Centre funded. (This is not to say other unfunded bids weren't strong - I don't have equal knowledge of every bid in this large round)

To me, Space Environment Management CRC illustrates the ambition of the CRC Program. The rate at which we are accumulating spaces debris will render space too cluttered to be usable in a matter of decades. Australia has scientific and geographic strengths in understanding and tracking space junk. The CRC proposal has brought in necessary international expertise and addresses the issue with the view to building a whole new business model that is sustainable if a series of technical and policy milestones can be achieved. Great science, pieced together to make a full story that can lead to a new industry - that's been worth the wait.

There is a grieving process with losing out on a CRC bid. People pour their heart and soul into a bid over a long time. The passion associated with the upside of a CRC has that deep disappointment when the chance to perform doesn't come. My commiserations are with those bidders.

My advice, stay off Twitter for the next week or so and most of all, don't let an unsuccessful bid deter you from trying again.

Managing a CRC bid – Six-part Seminar Series:
If you are attending the CRC Association Conference, Innovating with Asia, 20-21 of May, and the Australasian Research Management Society Conference, Think Impact and Influence, 17-19 September, you are eligible to sign up for our free six-part seminar series on “Managing a CRC Bid”.

Experienced presenters will provide insights into the processes associated with managing a bid.The seminar series is presented in a unique format of three live presentations and three web-delivered through the Smart Services CRCs iSee system. Time and opportunity for discussion with the presenters will be maximised and representatives of AusIndustry’s CRC Program will be available for discussion at each seminar.

Click here for details and to register.

Leading Innovators confirmed to speak at "Innovating with Asia 2014 Conference"

We are pleased to announce our first keynote speakers for the Innovating with Asia 2014 Conference.

These industry leaders will provide attendees with the opportunity to gain insights into the world's best practices and innovations from the fastest growing economies.

Professor Thomas Allen
Howard W. Johnson Professor of Management and Emeritus Professor of Organization Studies, MIT Sloan School of Management
Tom developed the "Allen Curve" in the 1970s, which indicates that communications between people dramatically drops off at 50 metres. He has redone it recently and it actually hasn't changed that much, despite the internet.

The implications of his work are that we need to take very active steps if we expect people to collaborate on work - it will not just naturally happen. Putting people on the same campus is not enough - you have to create opportunities for them to see each other and bump into each other (coffee shops; seminars). If people see each other regularly, they will contact each other more often on work issues.

Peggy Liu
Chairperson for JUCCCE
Peggy Liu, Chairperson of JUCCCE, leads a coalition in accelerating the greening of China and in fostering international collaboration with China. JUCCCE creates systemic change in sustainable cities, sustainable consumerism and smart grid, and is most noted for its multi-sector convening power.

She is an executive advisor to Marks & Spencer and HP, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Consumption, a WEF Young Global Leader.

Thomas Barlow
CEO of Thomas Barlow Advisory Services and author of Between the Eagle and the Dragon: Who is Winning the Innovation Race
Will the great innovations of the 21st century be Chinese or American? Between the Eagle and the Dragon is an insightful and highly readable book comparing the innovation performance in China and the US.

Its author, Thomas Barlow, is an independent thinker with bucket-loads of political insight. His analysis here is refreshingly objective, and raises hugely important questions for anyone involved in R&D in Australia. We strongly recommend it!

Dr Jason Fox
Dr Jason Fox is a motivation strategy & design expert who shows forward-thinking leaders how to craft the structures that influence behaviour and shape culture.

Online Registration now open - save up $100 and receive a free book!
The first 150 registrations will receive a copy of Between the Eagle and the Dragon: Who is Winning the Innovation Race, by keynote speaker Thomas Barlow.
Thank you to our sponsors:
  • Edith Cowan University
  • University of Western Australia
Sponsorship opportunities still available! Find out more on our website.

Early Career Researchers Showcase 2014

The Early Career Researchers Showcase 2014 is now open for applications.The showcase highlights good research communicated well.

Applicants are asked to submit a 30 second video, demonstrating that they can convey the aim of their research clearly and effectively. The Finalists will present their research at this year's Conference on the 20th and 21st of May.

Applications close Thursday 27th February. 

Click here for more information and to apply.

CRCA KnowHow E-Magazine

If you would like to receive an electronic copy of our recently launched magazine, Know How, as soon as it is released click here and subscribe. To view the recent edition click here.

Newsworthy material ?

We have recently set up a dedicated email address for members to send in newsworthy items to be considered for the CRCA newsletter. Feel free to email us at

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

Pauline Quinane:
02 6273 0624

Jordan Gardner:
02 6273 1124


CRCs to feature at APEC Startup Accelerator initiative
Organisers of the APEC Startup Accelerator initiative endorsed by the 20th APEC Economic Leader's Meeting have invited CRCA CEO Tony Peacock to address the meeting to be held in Chinese Taipei in March.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Australia has a strong interest in CRCs and the cooperative research model. TECO kindly arranged for Dr Peacock's participation in a panel session looking at models for improving and accelerating industry innovation.


27 February 2014
Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing SMEs:
Sharing Australian and International
Experience in Policy and Program Design

The Department of Industry, in conjunction with the Energy Management Action Network (EMAK) is hosting a workshop on the design and outcomes of energy   efficiency programs for manufacturing SMEs which have been run by industry associations and government.

Click here for more information.

17-18 March 2014  Melbourne
The Lowitja Institute 2nd National
Conference on Continuous Quality
Improvement (CQI) inAboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care

The Lowitja Institute 2nd National Conference on Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care

Click here to read more.

19-20 March 2014  Melbourne
Congress Lowitja 2014
Theme: Many Mobs. One Vision: Creating a Healthy Future
Congress Lowitja is the Lowitja Institute’s biennial conference.  Congress Lowitja 2014, Many Mobs. One Vision : Creating a Healthy Future,  celebrates diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities sharing a common goal for a healthy future.

Click here to read more

8th April 2014
Future Farm Live

Future Farm Live will showcase the increased value delivered to Australian agriculture through perennial plant based farming systems research over the past 13 years.

Click here to read more

8-9 April 2014
CRC Rail - Interchange
Interchange 2014 is a two day event featuring presentations of key CRC research outcomes from leading rail industry and research professionals as well as discussion panels and interactive networking sessions.

Click here for more information

8-11 April 2014
Australia Week in China 2014 Trade and Investment Mission
Australia Week in China (AWIC) is a government initiative which aims to promote Australia as a trade, investment, education and tourism destination with a program tailored to major industry sectors. The sector-specific networking events will raise understanding of doing business in China and enhance existing relationships with Chinese businesses.

Click here for more information

20th - 21st May 2014
Innovating with Asia
The Innovating with Asia 2014 Conference provides access to Australian innovation funding sources, a dynamic education program and people who are now creating real impact through research.

Click here to learn more

9 July 2014
Concept to Impact - Sheep CRC Final Conference
Sheep producers and industry participants should pencil 9 July 2014 into their diaries, when the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) will take them on an R&D journey from ‘Concept to Impact'.

Click here to learn more
Affiliate Members
CRC for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Health
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
Future Farm
Industries 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 CRC for Rail Innovation 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  

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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