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Cooperative Research News 2  July 2012
vaccine 3

Only nine bids line up

Lack of industry cash; previous low success rates lead to lower number of bidders for CRCs

The CRC Program has announced that nine bids - eight new and one supplementary - were received by the deadline for the 2012 funding round. This number is well down on the 26 and 30 bids received in the 2011 and 2010 rounds respectively. The bids received were:

  • CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Safeguarding Biodiversity CRC
  • Prostate Cancer CRC
  • C-ITS CRC – Safe and Sustainable Transport
  • The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing
  • CRC for Space Environment Management
  • Resilient Regions CRC
  • The CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity
  • The Vision CRC (supplementary application)

Of the eight bids for new CRCs, three failed to gain funding in last year's funding round. All three bid leaders have commented to the CRC Association that feedback from last year's experience was extremely valuable in developing their new proposals. Each has commented that although the number of participants and the amount of industry cash has generally grown, the bids have become more tightly focused than when submitted previously.

Apart from the supplementary bid by the Vision CRC, no existing CRCs have applied in this funding round. "We are still in a settling-down period from the move from biennial to annual rounds" explained CRCA head, Tony Peacock. "With a seven-year funding period and biennial rounds, CRCs attempting to get renewed used to bid in year six and give up their seventh year if they were renewed. However, now CRCs can go right to the end of their existing contracts and we are seeing CRCs funded for different timeframes. Currently we have contracts ranging from five to nine years".

"The impact is that there were a lot of CRCs requesting renewals in the last two rounds but none this year. By my  reckoning only two CRCs are contracted until 2013 and 11 to 2014. We may see some bid early, but realistically next year's round is going to have relatively few renewals bidding as well" said Dr. Peacock.

"At least three bids that were quite advanced decided to defer bids due to lower-than-expected availability of industry cash. I think money has been very tight in industry, but also, bidders know they won't succeed without strong support so there is a degree of self-selection going on. Research providers nowadays only bid when it is strategic for them to do so. So you can bet that the bids received are extremely high quality" concluded Dr. Peacock.

The CRCA is aware of discussions on a number of possible 2013 bids including renewable energy; impacts of fly-in, fly-out; diabetes; cybersecurity; soil security; on-line education; worker safety and several manufacturing proposals. The Association is always happy to facilitate introductions and in some cases we are able to match bidders with an experienced mentor. The Association has good contacts with a number of the Scientific Attaches and can sometimes help facilitate international collaborations for Members.


Good outcomes

The Sydney Morning Herald has adopted the AirLink system from The Smart Services CRC. The system allows a smart phone user to scan certain contact in the print version of the paper to download additional, richer content. Read about it in this article from the University of Wollongong.

New era dawns in dairy animal genomics

The Australian dairy industry has entered a new genomic era in which dairy farmers are now able to make breeding decisions with confidence on genomic data alone.

After two years of intensive research work at the Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), genomic profiling of 10,000 Holstein dairy cattle has achieved levels of reliability that make much more accurate predictions of how good a bull’s or a heifer’s genetics are for milk production, fertility and other traits that affect profitability.

On average the reliability of genomic breeding values for young bulls (with no daughters) is now equivalent to a bull proof with 30 milking daughters. The potential value of this new technology is estimated at $100 million over the next 12 years.

The Holstein project is one of the largest, single cattle genotyping projects undertaken in the world, increasing the population of the reference set for Australian genotyped Holsteins by a factor of five. Genetic sampling involved pulling tail hairs and/or taking blood samples from selected cows on 91 dairy farms, which had kept a high standard of cow performance records over many years.

Milestone celebrated

On 14 June the Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, the Hon. Peter Walsh, joined dairy farmers, scientists and industry leaders on farm at Maffra to celebrate this major milestone.

“This new level of genomic reliability for key traits confirms the creation of a viable, new market sector – genomically tested bulls with high levels of reliability under Australian dairy farming conditions,” said Dairy Futures CRC chief executive, David Nation.

Dairy farmers stand to double the genetic gain in their herds; bringing forward the introduction of elite genetics by several generations and producing higher performing dairy cows earlier.

Market impact 

The market impact of this new information is expected to come from the breeding decisions made from among the top 50 genomic bulls listed in the annual Good Bulls Guide published by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS)

ADHIS sets minimum publishable criteria for Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) from which dairy farmers make regular bull selection decisions. The changes in reliability for the top 50 genomic bulls, based on the results of the Holstein genomes project, shows just how quickly the reliability of genomic breeding values is catching up with traditional daughter proofs. Several of the most economically important traits are now at or above the minimum publishable criteria. These traits include genomic reliability for production (63.9%, Minimum Publishable Criteria - 63% reliability, daughters in 15 Aus herds), survival (43.2%, MPC - 25%) and mastitis resistance (54.8%, MPC - 50% reliability, daughters in 15 Aus herds). Workability traits (55.4%, MPC - 57% reliability, daughters in 10 Aus herds) are now very close to MPC.

Improving conformation, fertility and liveweight reliabilities are the subject of separate data gathering project which are currently underway. The Dairy Futures CRC is also investigating methods that could convert the liveweight trait to a direct measure of feed conversion efficiency.

Later this year the results of a similar study for the Jersey breed, is expected to provide comparable levels of genomic reliability.

For more information:

AIRG Winter Meeting 2012

Innovation and Technology in Australasian SMEs 

Melbourne, 20-21 August 2012.

The Australasian Industrial Research Group's Winter meeting will examine how innovation and technology is being managed in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across Australasia.  The meeting will seek to contrast how this is done in different high technology

SME sectors:  IT, devices and biotechnology.  Discussion will contrast recognised SME best practices with those in place in larger industrial settings and lead to a sharing of any crossover opportunities and learnings presented by the meeting.

Register here.

Early Bird registration is available until Friday 13 July.


IP Management and Commercialisation

Tonkin's Annual IP Management & Commercialisation Conference brings together the expertise and experience of IP and Commercialisation professionals to examine best practices for managing, leveraging and protecting your business's IP. 

Our line-up of outstanding speakers includes: 

  • Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Cabinet Secretary; Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change & Energy Efficiency, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry & Innovation 
  • Richard North, Manager, Content partnerships, YouTube Australia & New Zealand 
  • Diana Broadhurst, Senior Legal Counsel, eBay 
  • Doron Ben-Meir, CEO, Commercialisation Australia 
  • Terry Moore, Director, Domestic Policy, IP Australia 
  • Jane Perrier, General Counsel IP, Telstra 

PLUS the opportunity to attend 2 exclusive workshops:

WORKSHOP A: Structuring and Negotiating R&D and IP Commercialisation Contracts

WORKSHOP B: Guide to investing in the IP marketplace - Franchising, Licensing, Trade Marks and Patents

The CRC Association is proud to endorse this Conference and offer a 20% discount off the standard registration price.

To see the full Program and to register, follow this link: IP Management and Commercialisation.

To take advantage of the discount offer, quote code "EE 1". 

Upcoming Events for Members

15/16 August

CRCA Leadership Forum and Parliamentary Meetings. 

Registration now open.

CRC exhibition event for all MPs and Senators. Meetings with the Ministers for Health; Innovation; Defence Science and Personnel and others. Leadership Forum.

Register quickly as places are limited.

12/13 September

CRCA Education Forum (includes online education for the skills sector discussion).

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



2-3 August 

Invigorating Agriculture
Register here.

13-14 September 

Camera Trapping Colloquium in Wildlife Management and Research

19-21 September
Gold Coast

Australasian Research Management Society Conference  Register here.

23-28 September

28th Congress of the International Council of Aeronautical Sciences.

9-10 October 

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

The 2012 Crawford Fund 2012 development conference.


The Australian Government's $200 million Clean Technology Innovation Program will open for applications soon. You could be eligible.

Grants range from $50,000 to $5 million on a co-investment basis of one dollar of government funding for each dollar of the applicant’s investment.

The Clean Technology Innovation Program is a competitive, merit based grants program that will support applied research and development, proof of concept and early stage commercialisation activities that lead to the development of new clean technologies and associated services including low emission and energy efficient solutions that reduce greenhouse gases.

Contact the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46 or



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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