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Cooperative Research News
13 February 2013
CRCs are involved in research across many industries in Australia

Prime Minister, Science Minister and Attorney General Announce major enhancement to CRC Program


It's not the announcement the sector has been anxiously awaiting, but the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has made a welcome statement on CRCs late today. With new Minister for Science and Research, Chris Bowen and the new Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus QC, the Government has announced that money will be available to continue bushfire research and develop a CRC into natural hazards. 

Going even further, the Government has announced that a "priority public good" funding stream will be developed for the CRC Program. The Cooperative Research Centres Association has argued for some time that the Government should provide strong priority setting, particularly in the area of public good. A major issue with the CRC Program throughout its 22-year history has been how to continue important research in the public interest beyond the limited funding period of a CRC. 

CRC Association CEO Tony Peacock welcomed the announcement "This is a smart use of taxpayer money to have important public research addressed through the CRC Program. It's not coincidence that every measure of research impact continually shows that CRCs are a great mechanism for translating R&D into outcomes".

"Taxpayer's expect Governments to fund major public issues like bushfire research. But just being 'public good' doesn't justify funding alone. The CRC Program is a good way of ensuring accountability and performance of the research. The research can be driven by the end-users, collaborative and flexible to address the major challenges facing Australia."

"Obviously we would like to see that the CRC Committee is fully involved in selection and ongoing performance management. We encourage funding priorities, but no one should have an easy ride or protected status; they must continue to perform".

Details of the new funding stream are expected to be developed over the coming months. It is not yet known if "priority public good" CRCs will be developed only from existing CRCs, other research efforts or from scratch. The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC is facing a similar funding scenario to the Bushfire CRC.

Round 15 funding, delayed by the MYEFO process and the change over of Ministers is expected to be announced in the next few days. The CRC Association will issue a supplementary newsletter as soon as the announcement is made.

The full media release from the PM's office is provided below:
The Gillard Government will make a substantial investment to establish a new Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) from 1 July 2013.
This will build on the work of the existing Bushfire CRC and expand research efforts into other natural hazards.
The Government will contribute up to $47 million over eight years to ensure that the valuable work done by the Bushfire CRC can continue while developing a complementary natural hazards research program into flood, earthquake, cyclone and tsunami events.
The Commonwealth contribution is contingent on the states and territories making similar commitments to this expanded research activity, at a level equivalent to state financial support for the existing Bushfire CRC.
State and territory governments have been closely involved in the existing Bushfire CRC and we expect that they will be prepared to make a substantial contribution to this important initiative. 
Communities across Australia have been severely impacted by bushfires, floods and severe weather events again this summer.  This increased investment in research will improve approaches to mitigation, operational responses and community resilience to natural hazards.
The expanded focus of the new CRC appropriately reflects the impact of broader natural hazards on the Australian community.  The new CRC will conduct coordinated and interdisciplinary research, including work with communities, to improve disaster resilience and reduce the human, social, economic and environmental costs from bushfires and other natural hazards.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC will undertake vital research to support the development of cohesive, evidence-based policies, strategies and tools to build a disaster‑resilient Australia.  The funding will enable the CRC to provide a long-term research base that directly supports our emergency services as they work to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters. 
The structure of the new CRC will be determined in consultation with key stakeholders and participants, including the Bushfire CRC, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council and state and territory governments. 
The Gillard Government will also establish a priority public good funding stream within the CRC program to deliver primary research outcomes with wider social and environmental benefits to Australia and the broader community.

Research to manage dingo impact

Invasive Animals CRC and partners Australian Wool Innovation and Meat and Livestock Australia have embarked on a five-year research program to enhance the nation's ability to manage the impacts of dingoes.

While dingoes have plagued livestock production, their role in suppressing invasive species such as cats and foxes requires further research.

"It's critically important that we manage the negative impacts of free-ranging dogs using the most up-to-date scientific information," CRC researcher Peter Fleming said.

Read the full story from the Weekly Times

Genetic testing for autism, ADHD and schizophrenia on the way

Genetic screening at birth may allow researchers to determine a child’s risk of developing mental illness later in life.

Associate Professor Charles Claudianos and Dr Alex Cristino from the Queensland Brain Institute have analysed genetic data from groups of patients with mental illnesses such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia, to identify combinations of genes that indicate a risk of developing a particular illness.

In five years, the researchers would like to be able to screen the DNA of newborns and older children to make a molecular diagnosis, determining the child’s risk of developing a mental illness or improving the accuracy of an existing diagnosis based on behaviour.

The researchers hope to further develop the tool as part of a proposed new Co-operative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  If approved by the Federal Government, it which will have access to over $100 million in funding from the Commonwealth and in-kind donations, and will work to further the understanding of autism in the Australian population.

Read more

CRCA Conference News

Earlybird & Group Rates now available! Register now to save on your CRCA Conference Registration. Register for 4 or more people at the earlybird rate and receive an additional $100 off per person.

CRCA Collaborate Innovate Conference Accommodation is selling fast. There are some great Melbourne properties available for you to book via the online & manual Conference registration forms, but hurry as there are only limited numbers of rooms available at the Conference rates.

Hotels which are proving popular include Oaks on Collins, Grand Hotel Melbourne, Crown Metropole and Hilton Melbourne South Wharf. All accommodation is in either walking or tram distance from the MCEC and the busy hub of Melbourne Centre. Don’t miss out - Register and reserve your accommodation now.

Register today.

Collaborate Innovate 2013 is proudly hosted by the Victorian Government. Principal Sponsor: RMIT University.  Sponsored by: Advanced Manufacturing CRC; AutoCRC; Australian Research Council; Brisbane Marketing; Campus Travel; Centre for Public Awareness of Science, Australian National Universtiy; Connecting Spaces;  CRC CARE; CSIRO; Defence Materials Technology Centre Ltd; FAL-Lawyers; Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick; Russell Kennedy Pty Ltd; The Conversation; The University of South Australia; Westpac

Showcasing Early Career Researchers 2013 – follow Li’s lead

PhD candidate at the Queensland University of Technology, Mr Fengfeng Li, from the CRC for Infrastructure and Engineering Asset Management (CIEAM) was the Showcasing Early Career Researchers 2012 winner.

Fengfeng Li’s presentation was on his research to solve the high-cost problem of maintaining Australia’s aging water pipes.

"The moment I won the award last year is the best experience in my life. When I came from China, I didn't imagine this would happen - it was beyond my wildest dream," Mr Li said this week.

"I bought  a new laptop by using the award, and that really improved my efficiency for writing my thesis. I just passed my thesis defence, and will get my PhD degree in the near future."

For your chance to win an award, go to the Early Career Researcher Showcase 2013 entry website. The Early Career Researcher Showcase 2013 is sponsored by CSIRO and is open to CRC researchers.

Excellence in Innovation Awards 2013– Australian Poultry CRC showed the way in 2012 with Vaxsafe® PM

Australian Poultry CRC was one of five winners of the 2012 Australian Collaborative Innovation Award in Adelaide in May 2012 for their work on Vaxsafe® PM.

Vaxsafe® PM is a vaccine to protect chickens against fowl cholera, saving the Australian chicken meat industry an estimated $13M a year.

Read more.

Enter your CRC in the Awards for Excellence in Innovation 2013

CRC CARE gives all clear to toxic sand cleanup

A new report has recommended the go-ahead for the clean-up of the toxic sands in and around the regional park in West Bendigo.

“There is no imminent risk to human health or to the environment presented by the site in its current state where the calcined sands are covered by a layer of hydromulch,” the report’s authors, CRC CARE, wrote.

The toxic sands which were exposed during the Black Saturday fire in February 2009.

Read more

CRC online now available for 16th CRC selection

CRC online is now open for applications for the 16th Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) selection round. Applications for the 16th CRC program selection round must be lodged by 5:00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Thursday 13 June 2013. Late applications will not be accepted.

The information sessions on the CRC program and the 16th selection round begin on February 14. These meetings (held the same day in the afternoon) are limited and bookings are essential.

Dates of the information sessions in your capital.

....and DMTC makes it eight CRCs in the Best EIA Case Studies

The Defence Materials Technology Centre was involved in one of the best 20 EIA Case Studies along with CAST CRC. Researchers at the University of Queensland, who are part of the CAST CRC (headquartered at UQ) and UQ’s Defence Materials Technology Centre have worked on reducing the costs of using titanium in metal component manufacture. A CAST CRC and Ferra Engineering partnership developed techniques to manufacture titanium components for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a defence force combat aircraft.

"There is no doubt that CRCs are a significant force in delivering high-value innovation", CRCA CEO Tony Peacock said.

"To have eight CRCs involved in seven out of the twenty of the best examples of Excellence in Innovation is a strong message to industry and government that the CRC model is a cost effective way of giving Australia the edge in global innovation, especially at this time of budgetary constraint."

Read the report

Wound Management Innovation CRC seeks new CEO

Wound Management Innovation CRC (WMI CRC) is a unincorporated joint venture established with funding from the Federal Government and Participants for the purpose of conducting scientific research, and developing and implementing approaches for the treatment and prevention of chronic wounds.

The CEO will provide the vision, drive and leadership to the WMI CRC Joint Venture for generating patient and community benefit in wound care, its treatment and prevention.

Applications close on 1 March 2013. To obtain a full Position Description & Selection Criteria, please email or phone (07) 3138 4688.

More information can be found on the Wound CRC website.

collaborate innovate 2013

May 15-17 2013
The CRCA's Annual Conference

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Earlybird Registration available now

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
  • Soils
  • Murray–Darling
  • Farm Safety
  • Big Data
  • Several manufacturing approaches
  • Healthy Ageing
  • 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.


17-19 February 2013

AIRG 2013 Summer Conference
Early bird special until
31 December 2012

20 February 2013
Room G15, Tyree Energy & Technologies Building, UNSW, Sydney

Net Zero Carbon Housing Seminar
Speakers from Canada, Sweden and Australia
Low Carbon Living CRC
Email to reserve a place.

7-10 April 2013

National Rural Health Conference

6-10 August 2013

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


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 Asthma and Airways
Antarctic Climate &
Ecosystems (ACE) CRC
CRC for Beef Genetic
CRC for Biomarker
Bushfire CRC Cancer Therapeutics CRC Capital Markets CRC
Environmental Biotechnology
CRC Pty Ltd
CRC for Biomedical
Imaging Development
Deep Exploration
Technologies CRC
Cotton Catchment
Communities 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
eWater CRC CRC for Forestry Future Farm Industries CRC
The HEARing CRC CRC for Mental Health Invasive Animals CRC
Biosecurity CRC
CRC for Optimising
Resource Extraction
Parker CRC for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
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 Smart Services CRC
Young and Well CRC CRC for Low Carbon Living  
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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