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

Can Australia's Universities continue to provide research?

Australia is highly reliant on our Universities to deliver the Nation's research effort. About 60% of PhD trained researchers remain in Universities and only 30% end up in businesses. In countries like Sweden, Korea, Japan and the United States 70–80% of PhD graduates end up in business.

According to an Ernst and Young report last year, the current Australian University model – a broad-based teaching and research institution, supported by a large asset base and back office – will prove unviable in all but a few cases over the next 10–15 years.

So does Australia face a looming research crisis? Are we overly reliant on institutions that themselves are under threat?

Join Future of Australian Universities author Justin Bokor, Vice Chancellor of RMIT University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO and CEO of the Australian Research Council, Professor Aidan Byrne at Collaborate | Innovate | 2013 in Melbourne this May 17 to discuss this critically important issue.

Over this week, we are releasing the exciting program for Collaborate | Innovate | 2013. A highly interactive format has been developed to involve you in the big issues facing Australian innovation. Early Bird Rates are still available.

A special breakfast event will be held for a limited number of registrants on the morning on Friday 17 May. As CEO of the ARC, Professor Aidan Byrne sees more research proposals than just about anyone else. Having just completed his first funding round as a member of the CRC Committee, Aidan is in a unique position to give us insights into How to Win a CRC (or not).

Aidan will be joined by Professor Robert van Barneveld who has led four separate CRC bids in two distinctly different sectors. As a leading nutritionist and company director in the livestock industry, Rob has led two successful bids for the Australian pork industry. In the latest funding round he led the bid for the establishment of a $104 million Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders over 8 years with 56 participants and $31 million contributed by the Federal government. Rob also led a previous unsuccessful bid for an Autism CRC.

Aidan and Robert will give their unique insights into what makes a winning CRC bid. Numbers are limited for this breakfast, free for registrants. To attend, you must register through the Collaborate | Innovate | 2013 website.

This could be the most profitable hour you'll spend this year. Be quick to register.


CRCA Conference News

The CRCA Excellence in Innovation Awards dinner will be held Thursday 16 May 2013. This dinner will recognise outstanding examples of the transfer of CRC research results, knowledge and technologies that have been developed for a wide range of users of research, including the community, companies, and government agencies.

The CRCA Excellence in Innovation Awards dinner is a great chance for delegates to dress to-the-nines and enjoy an evening of entertainment, excitement and of course, excellence.

Tickets to the Awards dinner are included in all full registration types and can also be purchased separately on the Conference website. Register now.

If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague for an award please submit your entries by 28 February 2013. Find out more.

Showcasing Early Career Researchers 2013 Awards Eligibility

To be eligible to apply you must be, or have been, a PhD or Masters student by research in a CRC Association member organisation, and be planning to submit your thesis in the next two years, or have submitted during the past five years. For those who have submitted and are starting post-doctoral work, the application must be based on the work done for your PhD or Masters by research in a CRC or other CRC Association member organisation.

Enter now

New CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity welcomed by transport industry

The new CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity will receive $14.5 million under the CRC Program to reduce the burden of impaired alertness on the safety, productivity and health of all Australians.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has welcomed the announcement. “Fatigue is a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads,” said NTC Acting Chief Executive, George Konstandakos. “We look forward to working closely with our partners to use the findings to provide industry with practical tools and evidence-based policies to help manage fatigue safely.”

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) also welcomed the funding announcement. “The Government’s decision recognises that addressing driver fatigue and alertness is vital for the trucking industry’s safety. Although the proportion of serious truck accidents caused by fatigue has halved, insurance industry figures show that fatigue still causes 10 per cent of serious truck crashes.” said David Simon, the Chairman of ATA.

Read more from NTC, ATA.

New CRC to help diabetics, transplant patients and patients with wounds

The University of South Australia will lead the new CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing set to underpin significant innovations in the treatment available for diabetes, wounds, and transplant patients. The CRC represents a $59 million investment from the Federal Government and 14 CRC industry and organisational partners. The Federal Government is contributing $20 million over six years through the CRC Program.

Head of the new CRC, UniSA’s Professor Rob Short, says the goal of the research over the next six years will be to bed down a new cell therapy manufacturing industry in SA and create hundreds of new jobs, many in advanced manufacturing.

“The advantage of the CRC model is that it is dynamic – scientists can work in-step with industry and much closer to where their science will be applied, so that there is constant communication about what works and what doesn’t,” Prof Short says.

"Cell therapies offer exciting new possibilities for a range of previously incurable and difficult-to-treat medical conditions including Type 1 diabetes which affects more than 100,000 Australians. They will also provide a platform for healing life-threatening ischemic foot wounds and progress a new technology for organ transplants that could negate the need for immunosuppressive drugs."

“We aim to undertake the first “in man” trials for a new islet transplantation technology with a goal to eliminate the need for daily injections of insulin for Type 1 diabetes sufferers.”

Read more.

CRC funding for retinal camera development by Vision CRC

The Vision CRC will receive $5 million under the Australian Government’s CRC Program to help revolutionise the delivery of eye care in remote environments by developing a world first, intelligent retinal camera.

The retinal camera will accurately and rapidly detect and eventually diagnose sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The camera is being designed for ease of use in the most extreme environments so that it can be used by technical support staff and in the most remote and under-served locations, especially to close the gap in eye health in Australian Aboriginal communities

“The Vision CRC program has done what CRCs do best – bringing Australian and world leading scientists, technologists, engineers, social scientists and business people together to advance the social and economic benefit of Australia and the world,” said Professor Holden, CEO of Vision CRC and Brien Holden Vision Institute.

The Vision CRC will develop the retinal camera with international partners in Australia, US, China, India and Africa.

Read more.

CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be based at UQ

The CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders will receive $31 million from the CRC Program to enhance the lives of individuals with lifelong development disabilities arising from an autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most severe, prevalent and heritable of all neurodevelopmental disorders, and affects at least one in 100 children with estimated annual support costs to Australia potentially exceeding $7 billion. With an unexplained 25-fold increase in the number of diagnoses in the past 30 years, there are now more children with ASD than the combined number of children with cerebral palsy, diabetes, deafness, blindness and leukemia.

The University of Queensland will host the new CRC. UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu said that the CRC was the first such national cooperative autism spectrum disorder research effort in the world. “The Centre's work is expected to benefit more than one million Australians, improving their quality of life, education and employment options,” Professor Lu said.

The Centre's chief executive officer will be Professor Sylvia Rodger, of the UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The Centre will pursue three main aims to help people living with ASD:

  • ensure early diagnosis, coupled with targeted early intervention strategies
  • enable education in an appropriate environment by skilled professionals
  • provide the best chance to find a meaningful and fulfilling place in society through higher education, employment and better opportunities for long-term social relationships.

Read more.

CRCSI advances sea level rise mapping and planning in Pacific Islands

A project to map the topography of Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Samoa to plan for rising sea levels has begun. The project uses laser equipment to create a 3D map of the islands showing ground elevation, vegetation, canopy height and building placement.

Dr Nathan Quadros, Technical adviser with the CRC for Spatial Information said “We can use models of sea level rise to detect low-lying areas or areas that may be a risk on each one of these islands.”

For populated coastal areas of low gradient elevation, such as Nuku’alofa in Tonga and the north coast of Papua New Guinea, sea-level rise is a major concern. The Australian aid-funded project will also train locals in how to plan for changes in sea level.

CRCSI on the ABC

tongatapu_topography_and_aerial_1 2
3D coloured topographic digital surface model (DSM) in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Aerial imagery captured from the aircraft during the laser scanning is shown in the water areas.
nathan_presentation_1Dr Nathan Quadros giving a presentation on the laser scan data to the Tonga Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) Technical Committee.

DMTC talking defence technology on the ABC

Lightweight ceramic body armour and wearable batteries being developed by the Defence Materials Technology Corporation were among new defence technologies featured in an ABC TV report.

View the program.

collaborate innovate 2013

Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society:

It is with great pleasure that the CRCA Conference committee announce Sir Gustav Nossal, distinguished Australian research biologist, will present the Ralph Slatyer address on Science and Society on Wednesday 15 May 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

Not-for-profit Governance standards

By George Raitt and Ivor Kovacic, Piper Alderman

Charities (including certain tax exempt CRCs) are now automatically registered with the ACNC. Draft governance standards have been released to apply from 1 July 2013. They require a charity to:

  • demonstrate compliance with its purposes and not-for-profit character. The ACNC will determine whether a charity’s activities properly qualify
  • not engage in conduct that "may be dealt with" as a serious criminal or civil penalty matter. The ACNC can impose a sanction in addition to the legal liability at law and before liability is legally determined by due process.

Other standards require a charity to take "reasonable steps" to:

  • be accountable to its members. This replaces current specific statutory provisions, e.g. governing members right to convene general meetings.
  • manage its financial affairs "in a responsible manner". This replaces current specific statutory provisions, e.g. the prohibition on insolvent trading.
  • ensure that its directors or trustees are not disqualified under the Corporations Act from managing a corporation or disqualified by the ACNC.
  • ensure that its directors comply with duties that reproduce in modified form existing duties of directors. These duties are imposed directly on the charity rather than on the directors, and replace current specific statutory provisions.

If a charity does not comply the ACNC can, e.g. deregister the entity, leading to a loss of tax concessions, or remove, suspend or disqualify directors, or direct the charity to take certain steps to comply. While the ACNC may intend to enforce compliance, and impose sanctions that are proportional to the circumstances of the charity, the standards do not require this.

Draft Standards
Piper Alderman Submission.

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
  • Soil Security
  • Murray–Darling
  • Farm Safety
  • Big Data
  • Several manufacturing approaches
  • Healthy Ageing
  • eFIT
  • Simulation
  • 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.


7-10 April 2013

National Rural Health Conference

6-7 June 2013

The BIG Science Communications Summit - pathways to Inspiring Australia
A 2-day hands-on Summit to map out the next challences for Science communications in Australia and to collaboratively address best practice solutions. An Inspring Australia, TechNyou and Science Rewired event

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

Innovativity programs

9-10 April 2013
30 April- 2 May 2013
28-30 May


Innovativity provides a real-world three-day Program to help Australian organisations profit through innovation


2014 Conference

Sydney, Canberra, Darwin and Perth have all expressed interest in hosting the CRC Association's Annual conference in 2014. CRCA hopes to announce the venue and dates at our 2013 Conference in May. If you have an interest in promoting one of these cities, or a particular venue, please make sure we know in the next few weeks to aid us in our decision.

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.

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