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Cooperative Research News
31 May 2013
CRCs are involved in research across many industries in Australia

Judging a CRC by the company it keeps

At the opening of new offices for the Advanced Composite Structures CRC in Melbourne earlier this week, Chairman Dr Bill Schofield AM told the audience that "A CRC, just like a person, can be judged by the company it keeps". In the case of the Advanced Composite Structures CRC, that was a very impressive list indeed that included:

  • ASTA and Hawker de Havilland – now Boeing Aerostructures Australia
  • Airbus in France, Germany, Spain and the UK
  • Cassidian in Germany
  • PETRONAS in Malaysia
  • Australian Aerospace Pty Ltd and its parent Eurocopter
  • The US Navy office of Naval Research
  • The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research
  • The Defence Science and Technology Organisation
  • DLR – the German Aerospace Center
  • JAXA – the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
  • Qinetiq in the UK
  • DSTL, the DSTO equivalent, in the UK
  • The DGA in France
The Advanced Composite Structures CRC has a very proud past, as one of the first CRCs set up in the country. Its work on the Boeing 787 is now a well-known story of how R&D can have enormous economic impact. But the opening of the new office and workshop space is all about the future of the CRC and its spinout company, ACS Australia. As the CRC is no longer eligible to apply for Federal funding in the CRC Program, it is rapidly moving towards a new phase as an R&D company servicing the composites sector.

That new phase was on display only a fortnight ago when the CRC won a STAR Award at the CRCA's Excellence in Innovation Awards night (see story later).

Both Pacific Engineering Systems International Pty Ltd and Supacat Pty Ltd, SME Participants in CRC-ACS, were acknowledged in the CRC Star award for their engagement in the CRC-ACS research program, as well as the specific role played in building new market for Australian business in Asia.

Read more about the ACS-CRC's latest round of success.



Three CRCs now funded under
Public Good Priority Stream

The Government has announced $25 million each in funding to extend the Antartic Climate and Ecosystems CRC and the Lowitja Institute (incorporating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC). Each CRC will be extended for five years beyond the end of their terms in mid 2014.

The announcements extend the "public good priority funding stream", which commenced with the announcement of the Natural Hazards and Bushfires CRC by the Prime Minister earlier this year. $47 million was made available to that CRC, contingent on matching funding from participating organisations.

The announcements have had a mixed reaction in the CRC Community. While obviously very exciting for those involved, and, they created some disquiet amongst those bidding in the 16th funding round who attended the CRCA's recent Collaborate | Innovate | 2013 meeting in Melbourne.

"We have consistently urged a whole-of-government approach to CRCs. So this is a good signal that they are listening. The most senior people in Government have made these announcements and I think it is good that Cabinet is seeing the benefit of end-user driven approaches to research and the advantages of the timeframe and scale of a CRC" said CRC Association CEO Tony Peacock.

The 16th funding round closes in the middle of next month.

Standards in research training

The Chair of the Higher Education Standards Panel, Emeritus Professor Alan Robson has called for comment on a proposed standard in research training. The Panel would particularly appreciate any feedback you may care to give on the proposed standards themselves or broader related issues from organisations like CRCs with a particular interest in research training.

Comments can be forwarded from here.

CRC CARE and CRC-ACS win 2013 Star Awards

The CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) and the CRC for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS) have been awarded 2013 CRC Star Awards.

Presented by Head of Division AusIndustry, Chris Butler, during the CRC Association Conference's Excellence in Innovation Awards dinner, the CRC Star Awards recognise excellence in CRC collaboration with small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

CRC CARE has prioritised engagement with SMEs through its work in projects such as site remediation and biomass production. Its latest project engages Australian researchers, scientific expertise and businesses to assist China to develop an anaerobic bio-digester to help manage China's enormous pig waste problem.

CRC-ACS embeds Australian Composites Industry SMEs into global supply chains through collaboration in the aerospace, defence, and oil and gas industries. Working with the CRC, Australian SMEs have won design and advanced structure contracts in the emerging Chinese aerospace market. Since 2011, contracts awarded to Australian SMEs for this work have exceeded $1 million with a further $2 million anticipated over the next two years.

Read the press release

The innovation race between China and the US

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.

More about the author

Reviews and purchase.

2013 Research Australia Awards - call for nominations

The Research Australia Awards recognises and celebrates achievement and contribution to the landscape of health and medical research. The awards ceremony will be held in Melbourne on 13 November 2013.

Awards are presented for areas such as discovery, advocacy, philanthropy, lifetime achievement, leadership and innovation, in front of an audience representing Research Australia’s member community, supporters, the business community, politicians, and other notable guests.

Final submission date for nominations – Monday 1 July 2013

Submission details

Also awarded on the same night is the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Award for Research Excellence (ARE). Nominations are now open.

Wound CRC seeks CEO

The Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre, the world's first inter-disciplinary national wound research centre, is generating new products, processes, expert knowledge, education and training programs that will benefit wound healing. Its 20 Participant Organisations have around 60 equivalent full-time researchers, supported by more than $100m of Australian Government funding.

If you are interested in leading this organisation, please contact Jeremy Wurm or call 03 9602 1666, in confidence.

View the advertisement.

Applications would be appreciated by Tuesday 11 June 2013.

Autism CRC seeks Business/Finance Manager

Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is seeking an exceptional candidate to take responsibility for the financial operations and company secretarial duties under the direction of the CEO.

For further information on this exciting opportunity with a world’s first cooperative research centre towards Autism, please call Michael O’Connell FCCA, Director at Sapphire Recruitment on 07 3112 5131 or send Michael an email.


A couple of novel ways to help science

Deakin University has recently launched five projects on Crowdfunding site Pozible. Why not consider giving a few bucks to help get these projects over the line?

CRC Association has been particularly keen to see Euan Ritchie's project on the mountain mammals of Papua New Guinea go ahead - thanks for those of you that have supported and here's the link for those that would like to.

Leukemia research will benefit if Walter and Eliza Hall Researcher Matthew Witkowski is elected Cleo Bachelor of the Year. You can vote for Matthew here.
(The Editor is unsure if "elected" is the correct term for a Bachelor of the Year. CRCA has to date maintained a policy of remaining neutral in the selection of the Cleo Bachelor of the Year. But we reckon scientists probably don't often get a chance, so please vote). 

Get involved

Round 16 CRC bids are nearing completion.

Many syndicates are currently discussing Round 17 and even Round 18 bids.

Contact the CRCA if you seek assistance in determining whether to bid for a CRC. We can assist members with a mini-workshop to discuss issues. We can refer you to others who can help you more extensively. We can help you network and let people know about your bid through these pages.

Talk to us about Membership

Collaborate | Innovate | 2013 Photos

Photos from the conference are now available to view online.

Email Karen with the photo number if you would like a high-res copy of any photo.


6-7 June 2013

The BIG Science Communication Summit - pathways to Inspiring Australia
A 2-day hands-on Summit to map out the next challenges for Science communication in Australia and to collaboratively address best practice solutions. An Inspiring Australia, TechNyou and Science Rewired event.

6-10 August 2013

Abstract submissions now open
Prostate Cancer World Congress

8-11 September 2013
Canberra; online

The First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation
The conference is directly relevant to CRCs, with its focus on methods for bringing together research findings, and driving change in policy and practice.

11-13 September 2013

ARMS Adelaide 2013 Conference
Stimulating Change: Inspire. Innovate. Engage
The conference will embrace the new way research is conducted with the shift in focus to end users of research, open access to intellectual property and the potential of e-research.

20 November 2013 Canberra
CRCA Members Parliamentary Event (TBC)

Associate Members

Essential Energy

Safeguarding Biodiversity CRC bid

Affiliate Members

The Recruitment Alternative

Capital Hill Consulting

FAL Lawyers

Piper Alderman

Queensland University of Technology


University of South Australia

CRCA on ARMS Accreditation Council

Dr Tony Peacock, the CEO of the CRC Association, has joined the Australasian Research Management Society's Accreditation Council. An update on accreditation for research managers is here.

Members of the Cooperative Research Centres Association

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)
CRC for Infrastructure
and Engineering Asset
Management (CIEAM)
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  
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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

CRC Association, Engineering House, Tel: (02) 6270 6524, Fax: (02) 6273 1218, Email:


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