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.