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

Round 15 CRC Announcement

Prime Minister announces $70 million for three new CRCs and one supplementary application 

New CRCs for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cell Therapy Manufacturing and Alertness, Safety and Productivity will be established following the completion of the 15th funding round. The Vision CRC has been funded for a supplementary application.

The $70 million announcement this afternoon by Prime Minister Gillard means that three applications interviewed last December were unsuccessful. Proposals for CRCs in Biodiversity, Resilient Regions and Prostate Cancer did not gain funding.
Earlier this week, the Federal Government announced it will contribute up to $47 million over eight years to ensure the Bushfire CRC can continue while developing a complementary natural hazards research program into flood, earthquake, cyclone and tsunami events. The Government will also establish a priority public good funding stream within the CRC program.

Funding decision reflects competitiveness

Commentary by CRCA CEO, Tony Peacock

The investment in getting a Cooperative Research Centre funded is huge. It takes a lot of time, energy and money to get to a viable application. 

So when you've taken your application all the way through the application stages, and faced down the CRC Committee members in interview, it is gut wrenching not to be funded. That's the case today for three of the proposals in Round 15: Prostate Cancer, Resilient Regions and Safeguarding Biodiversity.

Knowing that not every dollar available has been spent in the Round probably makes the decision even harder to take. Up to $150 million was available for investment but only $70 million worth of funding has been announced. A further $47 million was announced earlier in the week to develop priority public good CRCs.

Disappointed bidders are of course wondering tonight if they have been the victim of a further budget cut to the CRC Program, because funding was available that could have been devoted to the three bids that missed out. The CRC Association will seek clarification from Minister Bowen's office on further details. However, the Prime Minister's announcement made it clear that the Government is committed to the CRC Program and has made $619 million available over 2012/13 to 2015/16 period. This amount is not a reduction over those announced in the 2011/12 budget.

This was an unusual funding Round. Only 9 bids were received in comparison to 26 and 30 in the previous two years. Seven of the 9 were called forward to interview and now 4 of those have received funding. Right now, there are probably more than 30 bids in development for the coming June 2013 deadline. Perhaps 20-25 of these will end up getting submitted.

I am not privy to the discussions of the CRC Committee. But with the Prime Minister reaffirming the $619 million in funding, it seems to me that this is not a cut in Government funding but more likely that not all bids were deemed fundable by the CRC Committee. CRCA will discuss this situation with Government and seek to make things clear to the whole CRC Community. The 16th funding Round is the first when the money available has been made absolutely clear to all involved, so there has been a growing transparency in the CRC Program.

It is an important issue to understand. Bids that fail in one round often get funded in the following Round after they receive feedback and can adjust their bid. Two of the successful bids announced today failed in last year's round. If disappointed bidders concentrate on the funding pie rather than listening to feedback and putting in an even stronger bid, they won't be doing their participants a favour. I know that's a difficult message to hear now. But the important thing is to look to what can be achieved from the bid in the future.

None of the failed bids were weak. I participated in mock interviews for each of them and know that for sure. However, the CRC Committee will only recommend bids if it feels they are extremely strong and ready to go. Each of the bids will be given feedback over the next few weeks.

To my mind, some of the bids that are addressing really big, wide issues have trouble focussing enough on the areas where innovation will have the biggest impact. In some cases, the format of the bids makes it hard to describe the detail of what the CRC will actually do. (I include this as a general comment, not about the specific bids in this round. But I know man people are involved in many bids right now). 

A big positive from today's announcement are that each of the four successful bids received the full amount requested. This reflects a maturity in the bidding process that a serious business plan is submitted in a highly competitive environment, so there is no room for slashing at proposed budgets.

The fact that the Prime Minister made the announcement is also gratifying for the CRC Program. In fact, the announcement earlier in the week was made by the PM, Deputy PM and Attorney-General as well as our own Minister. The CRC program has never enjoyed such a high profile in Government. Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will make an industry and innovation statement and her reaffirmation today of the importance (and $619 million budget) of the CRC Program ensures the program remains an important part of the innovation system.

The Prime Minister's announcement is here.


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.

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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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