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Cooperative Research News 19 June 2012
vaccine 3

So How Do You Collaborate?

Social media, co-supervision and links with industry bodies all feature 

Joint projects rank the highest as a means of collaboration amongst CRCs, according to the latest Benchmarking Analysis 2010/11. Recently completed by QualData, the study shows that most CRCs have a strong emphasis on joint projects, often with an enduser, a core participant or an SME as a required participant in projects.

The Defence Materials Technology Centre involves at least four, and up to seven, participants in projects. Other CRCs use the same resource, such as an industry nucleus flock in the case of the Sheep CRC, for a number of related projects.

It is also becoming very common for peak industry bodies to facilitate access to a range of industry participants. Sometimes access will research beyond Australia. For example, the Energy Pipeline CRC not only has links with the Australian peak industry body but equivalent organisations outside Australia, covering 60% of pipelines worldwide.

Most CRCs viewed participation of end-users in projects as a means of increasing the impact of R&D. They also list conferences, workshops, phone/video links, circulation of research reports and published articles as means of collaboration. Less commonly, social media was reported as a means of collaboration across 15 CRCs, including all sectors of research.

The Information, Communication Technologies and Social Services sector reported the largest number of collaborating organisations in 2010/11, averaging 71 for the sector. The Mining, Energy and Infrastructure sector had the lowest number of collaborating organisations, averaging 15.

The QualData Benchmark Analysis 2010/11 reports key structures, processes, outputs and outcomes across current CRCs. It is available to Members through the CRC Association office.

Application numbers down but details not known yet

Applications for the 15th Round of Cooperative Research Centres closed last Thursday. At the time of writing, the actual applications lodged are not public, but the CRCA expects numbers to be well down on last year's 26. Keep an eye on the CRC Program website over the next few days (

We know that a number of bids that were developed to an advanced degree did not reach submission stage. Bidders report that industry cash was exceptionally tight in some sectors. In several cases, CRCA understands that some businesses that had pledged investments early in bid development were not able to come through with the cash or needed to reduce their contributions.

Research participants in CRCs were also very cautious in their approach to the 15th Round, preferring to concentrate on a single, highly strategic bid, in some cases rather than several. To some degree this response is a reaction to the low success rate of bids in the past two rounds.

Bids that did go in will be of very high quality. Several of them have had long gestation periods. From what we understand, there are likely to be more bids in the health sector than any other.

The trend towards longer "gestation" periods and a more strategic approach to bidding has seen the CRCA approached in recent times by a number of businesses or industry sectors looking to bid in future rounds. They are seeking CRCA views on the approach and partnerships they might take in order to be successful. CRCA is always happy to assist in developing networks and we are happy to hear from potential bidders and help them with networking. The CRCA does not offer bid consultancy.

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". 

CRC for Mental Health receives Inspiring Australia grant

“Not just one thing – art, science & schizophrenia” is a new approach to understanding this complex mental illness. 

Story-telling events will be held in Melbourne which combine scientific expertise from the CRC for Mental Health with selections from the Dax Centre’s collection of artwork created by people experiencing mental illness. 

The events will describe a history of schizophrenia, exploring the illness through art, story-telling, science and personal perspectives.

“Not just one thing – art, science & schizophrenia”, will take place on 10 and 12 October as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. For more information, 

 Talks from the CRCA

CEO of the CRCA, Tony Peacock, will speak at a number of events over the next couple of months.

The BioMelbourne Network  "Performance Review of the Cooperative Research Centres Program" on 3 July (No prizes for guessing his performance assessment...). Book here.

Invigorating Agriculture will be held in Adelaide on August 2 and 3. Register here.

CRCA is also participating at the Australasian Research Management Society Conference on the Gold Coast, 19 - 21 September. Register here.

The $70,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge hunts for the nation’s best ideas

The search is on again for the nation’s greatest ideas – in fields from environmental science to education – through the $70,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge awards. 

The awards are run by The Australian in association with Shell with the support of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The goal is to help drive game-changing breakthroughs by scientists, engineers, technologists, educators and backyard inventors to commercialisation or adoption.

Clive Mathieson, editor of The Australian, said the newspaper was delighted to renew the search for the nation’s top innovators following the resounding success of last year’s inaugural challenge, which attracted more than 300 entries. Entrants included a team led by Australia’s latest Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt and a team including triple Olympic gold medallist rower Drew Ginn.

“The calibre of entries submitted in 2011 was astounding,” he said. “They came from backyard sheds, university halls and prestigious laboratories across the country. We’re keen to see what ideas we’ll uncover this time round.”

Dr Terry Cutler, CSIRO deputy chairman and leader of the federal government’s 2008 review of the national innovation system, will head the judging panel again this year.

“Australia has a great reputation for innovation,” he said. “Among our famous inventions are the black box flight recorder, ‘spray-on’ skin for burn victims and the bionic ear.”

Country chair of Shell in Australia Ann Pickard said “Shell aims to be the most innovative energy company in the world.  We work closely with partners in and outside of our own industry, universities, and other experts to spark new ideas and share expertise.  That is why we’re delighted to be sponsoring The Australian Innovation Challenge for a second year in a row, which we hope will unearth new and different ways of tackling the challenges we all face.”  

Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet said innovation is about enabling discovery and new ways of delivering high-quality goods and services.

“Innovation is critical to improving productivity, creating opportunities for business, growth and jobs. The Australian Government has a range of programs, including the generous new R&D Tax Incentive, to help businesses invest in innovation,” Minister Combet said.

“My Department is proud to support the Australian Innovation Challenge Awards and to highlight the fantastic efforts of our innovative businesses.”

The awards, which are open to both individuals and teams, have seven professional categories, each carrying a prize of $5000. The overall winner of the professional categories will receive a further $25,000. An eighth category, Backyard Innovation, is open to the general public and has a $10,000 prize. 

Enter here.

Upcoming Events for Members

Every year the CRCA convenes communities of interest to discuss issues of relevance to particular roles and responsibilities. This year, all groups will convene in Canberra, starting with Chairs and CEOs meeting with a range of Ministers, Committees, Members and Senators in Parliament House.

To participate in these meetings, you must be an Associate, Affiliate or Full Member of the CRCA. DIISRTE kindly participates in each meeting.

Registration for each meeting will open in the next few weeks.

15/16 August

CRCA Leadership Forum and Parliamentary Meetings.

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

Are you getting your money's worth?

All Associates, Affiliates and Members of the CRC Association are entitled to significant travel discounts through Qantas and Campus Travel.

The Qantas deal has just been renewed and represents better value than ever. 

A number of new CRCs have recently been delighted with the service provided by Westpac, the CRCA's preferred bank. Rather than trying to explain to a local teller what a CRC is, why don't you join us in having a single relationship manager that is a fan of great R&D and wants you to be successful?

CRCA also gets you discounted recruitment services through The Recruitment Alternative. For a $70K role they can save you 75% on conventional agency rates – that’s $6500 saving on one role!  

Call 1 300 548 546 to talk to The Recruitment Alternative. They are even helping the CRCA source great Directors for CRCs. Click on the logo below to go to the website.

Small Logo


Linking end-users with researchers. Over the past few weeks, CRCA has directed a number of large and small companies to CRCs or potential CRC bids that have attractive technologies, services or capacity.

We've arranged for CRCA members to meet with various Federal Members of Parliament.

We've arranged journalists to meet researchers and researchers to meet investors.

Like Cooperative Research Centres themselves, the CRC Association is committed to bringing knowledge together for the benefit of all Australians.

And you don't have to be a CRC to be a CRCA member!

(02) 6720 6524

Associate Members

Essential Energy

Geothermal CRC bid

Sleep and Alertness 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


13-14 September 

Camera Trapping Colloquium in Wildlife Management and Research

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.







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 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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