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Cooperative Research News
18 June 2013
CRCs are involved in research across many industries in Australia

Call for more strategic, more
consistent science policy

Representatives from Australia's peak science policy groups met in Canberra yesterday and called for a long-term, strategic approach to science policy that addresses the following six principles:

  • Investing strategically and sustainably
  • Building our research workforce   getting and keeping the best
  • Building a productive system and getting the most out of it
  • Being among and working with the world's best
  • Bringing industry and academia together
  • Expanding industry research.

The CRC Association was one of the supporting organisations that called on all politicians to ensure a strong and sustainable approach to science and innovation policy. Brendan Crabb, President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes put it as "moving beyond the patchwork quilt" of science policy. Nobel Laureate, Brian Schmidt, pointed to the fact that infrastructure is not fully utilised because planning cycles were too short. He indicated that when the Chief Scientist releases a proposed National R&D Plan in the next month, politicians should take a decade-long view.

Tony Peacock, representing the CRC Association, argued that business needs policy certainty to plan for collaboration with publically-funded researchers. Australia's relatively low level of PhD employment into businesses is not contributing as much as it could to developing a knowledge-based economy. Peter Laver, from the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering indicated that fewer programs, better supported, would have a bigger impact.

Despite the diversity of speakers and their organisations, the message was very clear: science and innovation policy is best handled by a longer-term planning cycle that fits the time frame taken to develop scientific outcomes and develop national capabilities.

Read the media release



AMSI Intern: a model for CRC?

Note from CRCA's Tony Peacock: There is a massive amount of talk about increasing business internships for both undergraduates and postgraduates in Australia. Many CRCs do terrific work in this area, as do other organisations, but I agree with Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, when he laments that these programs are not on the scale we need to make a sufficient difference. One program that has achieved scale is the Mitacs Program in Canada. In Australia, we've copied the format of that program (but unfortunately not the financial support, yet) and it is available for anyone to use. AMSI Intern is a program that CRCs (and those bidding for a CRC) should have a close look at. When running a CRC myself, I was extremely supportive of developing a strong training programs for postgraduates – in our case, "The Balanced Scientist" program – and that showed me both the extraordinary benefits and the considerable effort such a program is to deliver.

I'd like to recommend you consider using the AMSI Intern framework to deliver your intern programs – it could allow you to concentrate on what your CRC does well, handing over the logistics to AMSI.

The AMSI Intern program has been modelled on the highly successful Canadian experience. In this regard, Mitacs recognised a growing need for high-level postgraduates to enter all industry sectors. The Mitacs internships allow students to transfer their skills from theory to real world application, while companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise. Mitacs has placed more than 5,500 PhD interns, growing from 17 in 2003 to more than 2,000 in 2012. Retention into employment with the industry partner is just under 40%. See Mitacs CEO Arvind Gupta's speech at the Accelerate Australia Event.

AMSI Intern is an innovative national program working across industry, building links between universities and organisations. Our program provides organisations with high-end analytical expertise and is an alternative, cost-effective solution for a research challenge or problem facing your business. Postgraduate students, along with their university supervisors, come from all disciplines to partner with industry through short-term (4-5 month) tightly focused research internships.

AMSI Intern is the connector or switch that connects industry and universities together for research collaborations – the switch/ connector is about translating the problem between academia and industry.

Benefits of taking an AMSI Intern

  • Further develop & innovate your business for future growth
  • All Intellectual Property remains with your business
  • Potential recruitment opportunities
  • Payroll, insurance & public liability covered by the University
  • 4-5 month internships provide attractive flexibility
  • Connect with educational institutes
  • Access to academic supervisor with specialist knowledge
  • Linkage Grants opportunities
  • AMSI manages admin with quick turnaround times
  • A mature program modelled on international success
  • Bring a new skill set to your business

Go to the AMSI Intern website

Don't forget to sign up for new
career planning tool

All researchers from CRC Association members have access to the ‘gold standard’ career planning tool. Developed by Vitae for the UK Research Councils and now endorsed by the European Union, the Research Development Framework (RDF) Planner gives researchers a powerful tool to gain insight into their career development.

Read more about this and other member offers on the CRCA website.

To request access to the RDF, send an email (quoting your CRCA Member’s name) to

Now Open – Fulbright Applications for 2014

NEW Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences and Fulbright Senior Scholar (any discipline)

The 2014 Fulbright Scholarship round for Australian applicants has just opened.

The Fulbright Program is the largest and one of the most prestigious educational scholarship programs in the world operating between the United States and over 155 countries worldwide. The program has supported over 300,000 scholarships worldwide, and around 4,800 scholarships between Australia and the U.S.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chair will work with K-State faculty in priority research areas that lead to ongoing collaborative partnerships between Australia and K-State to develop skills and capabilities in Agricultural and Life Sciences that result in a stronger bilateral relationship between Australia and the United States.

The Fulbright Senior Scholarship is for academics (generally at Associate Professor or Professorial level), government scientists or other key researchers to undertake a collaborative project at Kansas State University in the U.S. Successful applicants will work with a tenured or tenure-track colleague at K-State on a significant collaborative short-term research program in any academic discipline.

Find out more at

Shovel Load Assist
Increasing Safety and Efficiency

CRCMining is developing operator assistance technologies that will help operators of electric mining shovels load trucks more efficiently and safely. The Shovel Load Assist Project (SLAP) has developed two technologies:

  • TruckShield: A layer-of-protection that prevents metal-on-metal collisions between the shovel and truck that might injure truck drivers or damage the truck or shovel.
  • AutoLoad: A semi-automation swing technology that automates the swing, dump and return phases of the shovel loading cycle.

The benefits of SLAP technology span shovel safety, availability, productivity and maintenance through faster shovel cycle times, lower machine duty, improved material distribution in trucks, fewer impacts between truck and shovel and lower operator workload.

The project has shown that TruckShield and AutoLoad have the potential to help operators by addressing some of the main avenues for human error in shovel operation.

Read the full story.

You can keep up-to-date with more stories like this from CRCMining if you sign up to receive their newsletter.

Of droughts and flooding rains

In the first 90 days of 2013, Australia broke 123 climatic records. How are our cities going to cope with a more extreme environment?

See Tony Wong, the CEO of the Water Sensitive Cities CRC, speaking recently at TEDXCanberra.

Watch video.

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

Crawford Fund Annual Conference

The Crawford Fund's annual conference on food security will address an issue that will resonate for policy makers, farmers, business people, development professionals, representatives of civil society and peak industry bodies, academics and researchers. Titled Mining, Agriculture and Development: Bread from Stones? – the conference is being held from 25-28 August in Perth in conjunction with the Africa Australia Research Forum (AARF) and will address the interaction between mining and agriculture, industries so significant to both Australia and developing countries. While the focus will be in Australia and Africa, the lessons will hold true wherever rural communities intersect with mining. Speakers will include: The Hon Dr Florence Chenoweth, Africa Prize Winner and Minister for Agriculture in the Republic of Liberia; The Hon Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Minister of Energy and Minerals, Tanzania; Mr Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre; HE Festug Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairman of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa; Ms Jane Karuku, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.


July–August 2013
Social Media for Science

Learn how to get the most out of social media.

Melbourne, 29 July
Brisbane, 12 August
Sydney, 14 August
Canberra, 16 August

Register here for CRCA member $50 discount

8 August 2013

Safeguarding human health in cities under climate pressures. National science symposium.
This Symposium will showcase new research on ‘Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health’ led by the National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health in collaboration with leading Australian universities and funded by the CSIRO's Climate Adaptation Flagship.

6-10 August 2013

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.

15-18 September 2013

CleanUp 2013
The 5th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference – Australia's premier conference for the contaminated site and remediation industry.

30 September to 2 October 2013

Human Factors in Crises and Disasters
Hosted by the World Psychiatric Association, this conference deals with all aspects of human factors associated with natural and man-made crises and disasters.

20 November 2013 Canberra
CRCA Members Parliamentary Event (TBC)

Associate Members

Essential Energy

Safeguarding Biodiversity CRC bid

CRC for Cyber Security bid

International Centre for Complex Project Management

Sleep and Alertness CRC bid

The C-ITS CRC bid

Affiliate Members

The Recruitment Alternative

Capital Hill Consulting

FAL Lawyers

Hynes Lawyers

Piper Alderman Lawyers

Queensland University of Technology


University of South Australia

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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