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Cooperative Research News 26 September 2012
vaccine 3

CRC Shortlisting holdup "intensely frustrating"

Federal Government reviews all "uncommitted" expenditure

The 15th selection round for Cooperative Research Centres is currently stalled as the Federal Government reviews all "uncommitted" expenditure for 2012-13. The Federal Government has committed to delivering a budget surplus in the current financial year. Lower than expected tax receipts and a number of new priorities the Government wishes to initiate led Cabinet to order a review.

In the normal course of events, the CRC shortlist for the year was expected in the last week of August. Nine consortia have been left waiting to hear whether they will proceed in the round.

"Obviously we are disappointed" said CRC Association CEO Tony Peacock. "We don't think these funds should be regarded as 'uncommitted' by the Government, nor would any savings be made in the current year in any case. Consortia have worked on these bids, spending thousands of hours and dollars expecting the funding round to proceed".

"We recognise it is a whole-of-government review, and we need to do better convincing Government that long-term scientific endeavours can't simply have the tap turned on or off. It is hard work developing R&D consortia so we have businesses, health groups, conservation organisations and many others besides researchers hanging on this review. We know that bidders are intensely frustrated".

"I know Minister Evans and his staff are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and DIISTRE are still indicating they can complete the funding round by the expected December dates. Bidders will need to be patient for another week or so".

All granting programs are affected, including those of the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. The CRC Program was cut in the 2010 Federal election and 2011 Budget.


CRC Association Chairman Tony Staley
suffers heart attack

The Chairman of the CRC Association, Tony Staley AO, has suffered a major heart attack. After 10 days in intensive care, Tony has begun recovering in Melbourne's Cabrini Hospital.

Tony has had a bypass operation and his recovery is likely to take some time. He has been a partial quadriplegic since a car accident almost 25 years ago. He recently accepted the role of Chairman of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council.

The whole CRC Community wishes Tony a speedy and full recovery. Tony's partner, Sue Bell, has been keeping the CRCA office informed of all developments and we wish her and the rest of the family our best.

Update on Defence Trade Controls Bill

The Cooperative Research Centres Association has been an active participant in discussions with the Defence Department, DIISRTE, the Chief Scientist's Office and Universities Australia on the Defence Trade Control Bill.

Universities Australia, and particularly the University of Sydney, had expressed considerable concerns about the Bill, which could restrict the flow of knowledge and potentially stop some research activities. The CRCA became away of the problems and shared the concerns of the Universities and conveyed those to the Senate Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee considering the Bill.

That Committee, Chaired by NSW Senator Ursula Stephens, asked that the Defence Department conduct further consultation and address the concerns of the research community before the Bill was put to the Senate. They asked that Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, convene a round table to facilitate discussion.

Two roundtables have been conducted in the past month. Chief Defence Scientist, Alex Zelinsky, undertook extensive consultation including with the CRCA. He recommended 15 changes to the Bill.

The outcome is that an Advisory Committee with input from the research community will oversee implementation of the new export control arrangements. No penalties will apply in the first 24 months. Researchers will need to think about whether work they are doing will require a Defence Trade Control permit, with research institutions administering a self-assessment process. The Institutional committee will determine whether a permit is required and seek. Permits will be provided by the Minister for Defence.

"Researchers will have one more compliance issue to think about along with human and animal ethics; whether they need Statistical Clearing House approval and the like" said CRCA CEO Tony Peacock.

"Most won't need to take action. But we have to recognise that knowledge in the wrong hands can cause enormous devastation, so controls are needed if Australia is to meet our obligations."

"The changes were necessary to make this workable for researchers, and I'm satisfied that's now the case".

Don't forget the GE low carbon challenge

If you have an idea for a low carbon product or service, GE wants to know about it. GE has made a $10 million capital pledge and has teamed up with venture capital firms in Australia and New Zealand, including Cleantech Ventures, CVC Limited, Greenhouse Cleantech, MH Carnegie & Co and Southern Cross Venture Partners to help back the most promising ideas. 

Go to GE's ecomagination Challenge: Low Carbon Solutions for details.

Slides from talks now available

The CRCA has been out and about talking to many groups over the last few months. Prezis of the various presentations are available from the links below:

Early Career Research Advice on industry. Given 21 June 2012 for CQU ECR meeting.

A performance review of CRCs. Given 3 July Melbourne BioBreakfast.

A Social Media Journey - or why I still blog a bit but tweet a lot. Given 3 August 2012 at Invigorating Agriculture Conference.

Science Communications and Policy. Given 20 August ANU Centre for Public Awareness of Science and 6 September 2012 DAFF Graduate Development Program.

Cooperative Research Centres and China. Given 5 September 2012 at Australia-China Research Fund Knowledge Exchange Symposium.

An introduction to Cooperative Research Centres. Given 19 September to the Safety Research and Education Alliance (this or slight variations provided for several potential bidding consortia - use this version)..

A uniquely Aussie model for collaboration: Cooperative Research Centres. Given 20 September 2012 to Australasian Research Management Society.

The Contribution of CRCs to Research Training. Given 24 September at the Academy of Science's Early-Mid Career Researcher Forum.

Presentations given at private meetings are available from attendees on request.

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
  • Cybersecurity
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Online Education
  • Soils

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.


Impact through Collaboration

May 15-17 2013
The CRCA's Annual Conference

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The insight gained from the conference into how industry and academia can successfully interact is second to none.  Add to that the networking opportunities, and you’ve got yourself one of the most valuable conferences for research leaders in Australia.

Program Leader commenting on Collaborate

Sponsorship enquiries can be directed to Justin Holsinger at EventCorp.

Upcoming Events for Members

17/18 October

CRCA Business Forum (including update on not for profit tax arrangements)

14/15 November

CRCA Communicators Forum (includes a session on social media use).


Benefits of CRCA Membership

Every CRC is a Member of the CRC Association. But Membership is not limited to CRCs. Associate and Affiliate Members enjoy a range of discounts and offers as well as the CRCA's networking and representation services.

CRCA Members access substantially discounted and/or flexible fares with Qantas. To take advantage or organise a briefing, contact Jodi Walton at Campus Travel.

Westpac is the CRCA's preferred bank. They are great supporters of innovation in general and CRCs in particular. To find out what they can do for you, contact Rose Stellino.

CRCA also gets you discounted recruitment services through The Recruitment Alternative.

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

Queensland University of Technology


University of South Australia



9-10 October 

The Scramble for Natural Resources:
More food, less land?

The 2012 Crawford Fund 2012 development conference




Members of the Cooperative Research Centres Association

CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health CRC for Advanced Automotive Technology CRC for Advanced Composite Structures
Advanced Manufacturing CRC Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems (ACE) CRC CRC for Asthma and Airways
Australian Seafood CRC CRC for Beef Genetic Technologies CRC for Biomarker Translation
CRC for Biomedical Imaging Development Bushfire CRC Cancer Therapeutics CRC
Capital Markets CRC CAST CRC CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CARE)
Cotton Catchment Communities CRC CO2CRC Dairy Futures CRC
Deep Exploration Technologies CRC DMTC Ltd Energy Pipelines CRC
Environmental Biotechnology CRC Pty Ltd eWater CRC CRC for Forestry
Future Farm Industries CRC The HEARing CRC CRC for Infrastructure and Engineering Asset Management (CIEAM)
Invasive Animals CRC CRC for Mental Health CRCMining
National Plant Biosecurity CRC CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction Oral Health CRC
Parker CRC for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions CRC for Polymers High Integrity Pork CRC
Poultry CRC CRC for Rail Innovation CRC for Remote Economic Participation
CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation Smart Services CRC CRC for Spatial Information
Vision CRC Wound Management Innovation CRC Young and Well CRC
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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