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Cooperative Research News
26 March 2013
CRCs are involved in research across many industries in Australia

Restoring native woodland with plastic from CRC for Polymers

A novel degradable plastic film was the centrepiece at the launch of a five year extension of the Cooperative Research Centre for Polymers (CRC-P). The launch was held at a Melbourne production site of Integrated Packaging, the largest local manufacturer of plastic stretch films.

Integrated Packaging’s previous research with the CRC resulted in improved technology to control the degradation of plastic films in the environment. One application of this technology being evaluated by this company in collaboration with Greening Australia and the Birchip Cropping Group is the mechanical application of degradable film over the seeds of native trees at the time of planting.

The film provides a temporary greenhouse that allows earlier planting, assists germination, improves water use efficiency and reduces pest damage. As the trees begin to grow the film breaks down. Continuing trials being conducted to evaluate the potential of this technology and refine its use have shown very encouraging results. This low cost, high value technology has the potential to allow the re-establishment of wildlife rich woodlands in challenging semi-arid and degraded lands.

The Head of Division for AusIndustry, Ms Chris Butler, formally launched the extension of the CRC-P, supported by funding of $14.5 million from the CRC program. With further resources provided by its participants, the CRC will conduct over $60 million of research to assist Australian manufacturing to develop products that meet emerging global needs in three areas – health therapies and delivery, water and food security, and low-cost solar energy.

More than $9 billion worth of polymers and polymer-based products are used annually in almost all sectors of the Australian economy. The CRC-P has a strong track record of developing technologies for the plastics industry, including ceramifying polymer technology, first used in 2003 by Australia’s Olex Cables in a new range of fire performance cables.

Read more

aying the degradable polymer film with the direct seeder
Laying the degradable polymer film with the direct seeder (credit: Birchip)


No CRC Review in 2013

In perhaps his only decision relating to the CRC Program, the former Minister, the Hon Chris Bowen MP has decided that no CRC Review will be held in 2013. The program's reviewed formally every five years and so a review was due this year, five years after the 2008 O'Kane Review.

The CRCA had written to Minister Bowen seeking deferment of the review until 2014.

"A review in 2013 could be very disruptive to the funding process, with a big competitive round and the Federal Election due" said CRCA CEO Tony Peacock. "The 2012 Impact Study by the Allen Consulting Group was a major piece of work and extremely favourable for the CRC Program, so the Board thought there was little to be gained from a Review that might end up straddling the election".

The former Minister agreed to defer the review until 2014 saying “I have made this decision in light of recent demonstrations of the effectiveness of the CRC Program” and referring to the 2012 Impact Study and the Excellence in Innovation for Australia Trial report.

Professor Peacock has welcomed the appointment of Senator the Hon Don Farrell as Minister for Science and Research. The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP has become the senior portfolio Minister. "Senator Farrell has met with some of the CRCs working on water research in relation to his previous responsibilities. I look forward to briefing him on the great work going on across the whole CRC spectrum" said Prof. Peacock.

2013 CRC STAR Award closing soon

The 2013 CRC STAR Award is the Minister’s award for recognising CRCs for excellence in collaborating with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and deliver innovation.  Applications close on 28 March 2013.

Application form and guidelines

Collaborate | Innovate | 2013

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework will be featured in the Education/Research Program Managers' Workshop at Collaborate | Innovate | 2013.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) supports world-class personal, professional and career development for researchers. Aspiring researchers can take control of their own professional development by identifying their progress across the wide ranging capabilities recognised by successful researchers.  The associated RDF Planner enables researchers to identify expertise and capabilities, plan professional development, set personal targets and demonstrate evidence of success, on a regular basis. The Vitae RDF and Planner and relevance to researchers in trials in Australia will be discussed by the presenter Alison Mitchell.

Conference website

NFF calls for new agriculture research CRCs

The National Farmers' Federation has released its Federal Election Policy Priorities calling for more research and development in agriculture.

"The agricultural sector has five key priorities leading into this election, five key areas that we are seeking commitments from all parties and parliamentarians to achieve," NFF president Jock Laurie said.

The five policy priorities are: growing Australian agriculture; investing in research, development and extension; increasing competitiveness and profitability; building a stronger workforce; and balancing agriculture and the environment.

Policy priorities include a re-investment in the Cooperative Research Centres program and the establishment of three new agriculture-based CRCs by 2015.

More information.

AMCRC invests in algae to fuel technology

As part of its ‘Next Generation’ program, the Advanced Manufacturing CRC is helping to fund and facilitate an exciting ‘algae to fuel project’ in partnership with MBD Energy and James Cook University. "MBD Energy is commercialising technology to use algal strains to generate algal bio-products such as animal feedstocks and fuels through the capture of carbon waste (e.g. from power plant emissions)", said Bruce Grey, Managing Director of the AMCRC.

James Cook University and MBD Energy have been collaborating on bio-manufacturing techniques that can make algae both a feedstock for prawns and an industrial waste treatment solution.

Read more.

Poultry CRC launches iOS game

The Poultry CRC has launched an app in the iTunes store titled Egg Grab’n’Grade, available as a free download within Australia.

Egg Grab’n’Grade is an iOS game that illustrates the different types of eggs that are removed on a grading floor. It shows how eggs make their way from hen houses where they are laid, through the grading floor, to a packing station where they are put into cartons, and then on to shop shelves. Players must identify the cracked, dirty, misshaped, undersized or oversized eggs and move them to the appropriate ‘buckets’, while leaving the good eggs to go through to packing.

This game has been designed principally to teach school students about food safety and quality in the egg industry. It is compatible with iPad2, iPod4 and iPhone4 (and later versions of each). The game was developed in conjunction with Holopoint Interactive in Adelaide.

More about Egg Grab'n'Grade

Egg grab'n'grade home screen


Peter Cullen Trust Science to Policy Leadership Program

The Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust is again looking for a diverse group of people who are actively involved in water system management to participate in our exciting leadership program.

Only 15 people will be selected and funded to undertake this journey of personal and professional discovery.

Applications close on the 30th April, 2013.

More information.

Free trial to the World’s largest funding opportunity database

InfoEd Global’s SPIN offers 40,000+ opportunities from 11,000+ sponsors, providing a single solution for Researchers and Principal Investigators who desire to spend less time searching, but still yearn for ideally suited and perfectly matched funding opportunities. The system has an intuitive, easy-to-use web interface which utilises powerful data mining capabilities and time-saving features to provide fast and comprehensive search results.

In celebration of InfoEd Global’s support of CRCA Collaborate Innovate 2013, a CRC member trial of SPIN is planned. Representation is sought from all CRC member sectors to use and evaluate SPIN during the month of April. Please register your interest in participating in the trial to Damian Davini – InfoEd Global Regional Manager Asia-Pacific.

About InfoEd Global

Autism CRC seeks Independent Directors

Nominations are now open for four Independent Director positions for the inaugural Board of the Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders CRC (Autism CRC Ltd). Details about the application process and further information can be obtained from the Chair, Ms Judy Brewer.

Applications close on Friday 12 April 2013 and should be submitted by email.

collaborate innovate 2013

May 15-17 2013
The CRCA's Annual Conference

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre


Sponsorship enquiries can be directed to Justin Holsinger at EventCorp

Why you should be a Member of the CRC Association

Members of the CRCA have access to communications that can cut the cost of your operations.

Recent discussions include best use of Social Media, management costs and governance issues.

Members of the CRCA gain insights and support in seeking partners and funds.

All seven shortlisted CRC proposals in the current funding round have received referrals through CRCA.

An analysis of Round 16 potential bids is already available to CRCA members.

A benchmarking study outlining all CRC salaries is available to members.

Members of the CRCA receive advocacy, promotion and introductions.

Meetings with Ministers Combet, Plibersek, Butler, Carr and others were organised for Members during 2012.

In the past year, the CRC Association had provided Associate Membership and Affiliate membership at 25% and 50% of the full membership rate respectively. Our Associates and Affiliates are reporting significant benefits arising from their Membership.

Enquire today about joining us in 2013.

Get involved

Consortia are developing for CRC bids in the next (2013) round. CRCA is happy to help you connect with other potential bidders. Let us know about your interest and we can pass it on to others in the areas of:

  • Asian markets
  • Diabetes
  • Cybersecurity
  • Industrial Safety
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Online Education
  • Soil Security
  • Murray–Darling
  • Farm Safety
  • Big Data
  • Several manufacturing approaches
  • Healthy Ageing
  • eFIT
  • Simulation
  • Complex Project and Program Management

as well as potential re-bidding CRCs and a range of early stage bids. Participation in a CRC is not limited to any specific group or region. You must have an Australian small-medium enterprise and an Australian University involved.


7-10 April 2013

National Rural Health Conference

1 May 2013

Seafood Marketing CRAM conference

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 Inspring Australia, TechNyou and Science Rewired event.

6-10 August 2013

Abstract submissions now open
Prostate Cancer World Congress

Associate Members

Essential Energy

Alertness, Safety and Productivity CRC bid

Safeguarding Biodiversity CRC bid

Affiliate Members

The Recruitment Alternative

Capital Hill Consulting

FAL Lawyers

Hynes Lawyers

Piper Alderman

Queensland University of Technology


University of South Australia

Innovativity programs

9-10 April 2013
30 April- 2 May 2013
28-30 May


Innovativity provides a real-world three-day Program to help Australian organisations profit through innovation


The Brewery - commercialise your innovation

Australia is renowned for its innovative capacity yet notorious for low levels of technology translation and commercialisation.

The Brewery is a dedicated commercialisation program that focuses on dramatically decreasing the time required to go from research output to a product. Each technology within the program is supported by a strong business case, high-level strategy and mentorship while utilising the greater innovation ecosystem. The Brewery will initially focus on medical devices and diagnostics, though the model is expandable to other sectors. The goals are threefold: (1) Get the story right while (2) accelerating commercialisation in a (3) dynamic problem-solving hotbed.

The Brewery provides another option for CRCs wanting to extract value from innovation. STC is actively building a strong base of partners, and is currently seeking opportunities to participate in existing or upcoming CRCs.

Read more or contact STC

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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