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Cooperative Research News 30 November 2012
CRCs are involved in research across many industries in Australia

Big CRC funding round announced

The Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has announced Round 16 of the Cooperative Research Centres Program, and it is considerably larger than the current round.

Two hundred and forty million dollars is available in the Round, to commence in Fedruary 2013, some $90 million more than this year. The Minister made the announcement to a delighted audience at the launch of the Plant Biosecurity CRC in Parliament House on Wednesday night.

Three priority areas have been articluated - social innovation, regional communities and innovative manufacturing. For the first time, the CRC Program will isolate a portion of the available funding for one of the prioritiy areas. Innovative Manufacturing will have a minimum $50 million available to it. Minister Evans made it clear at his announcement, however, that it was an "open round" and he invited wide participation.

More applications were already expected in Round 16 than the current round due to the larger number of renewal applications likely to come in. But the large allocation ensures a strong representation of new CRCs can be supported by the program.

The Minister's announcement was greeted enthusiastically by both industry and academia.

Commentary by Tony Peacock, CRCA

The Government has just given the CRC Program a massive vote of confidence. By coming out early with priorities and telling everyone the budget details, Chris Evans is clearly encouraging more bids to "have a go".

The recent Allen Consulting Group impact study demonstrated once again the value of CRCs. It's clear from the comments of Minister Evans and his colleagues since the release of that report that they are getting on with things and backing the CRC Program. The ball is now in the court of industry and sector end-users to develop competitive bids to lodge by next June. The Round will be highly contested, but the available funding does give a good chance of success. Fence sitters should get involved.

The CRCA estimates that 20-25 bids are in preparation now. The Minister's announcement may stimulate more, particularly in the priority areas. Isolating funding for innovative manufacturing is a development the CRCA applauds. We have advocated for several years that the CRC Committee should have a strong mandate to back the Government's priorities. We would like to see a more whole-of-Government approach to the use of the CRC Program to help meet the Nation's innovation needs. Of course, we always encourage Government to adequately fund those priorities.

Intending bidders should look to provide novel, highly end-user focussed proposals. The CRC program guidelines are far more flexible than people realise. There is no need to put in a CRC proposal that conforms to a formula. They should meet the needs of the sector first and foremost.

As welcome as Minister Evans' announcement is, it doesn't represent new money for the CRC Program and we will continue to seek boosted funding beyond Round 16. But in Canberra this week there has been two days of Research Impact Assessment discussions. The much anticipated ATN-Go8 study lists 20 cases studies of high impact research - 7 of these are CRC-based. Of five case studies given by the Regional University Network at a workshop yesterday, three were CRC examples. That's extraordinary given the CRC Program represents only 1.7% of the Federal Government's "innovation pie" but it isn't surprising - goal-driven, longer-term programs with flexibility and scale to respond to results produce research impacts. 


CRCA Annual Conference news

Special Offer!  Entry into the wine tasting event for the first 50 delegates only! From the success of the wine tasting event this year in Adelaides, FAL Lawyers, a client-focused law firm specialising in research, innovation and associated sectors, will generously be hosting the wine tasting event again in 2013. Don't miss out on this great networking opportunity!

Tour of the Australian Synchrotron Collaborate Innovate 2013 will commence with a tour of Australia’s largest national research facility, the Australian Synchrotron. This tour is available for registered delegates only and spaces are limited.  For more information or to register, please visit the Conference website.

Collaborate Innovate 2013 is proudly sponsored by:
RMIT University; Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick; FAL Lawyers  Russell Kennedy Pty Ltd; Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, ANU;  Campus Travel; Australian Research Council;      AutoCRC
Collaborate Innovate 2013 is proudly  hosted by the Victorian Government.

CRC model aids manufacturing competitiveness

Australia is ranked 16th in the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index produced by Deloitte and the US Council on Competitiveness. The Index includes over 550 survey responses from CEOs around the world and outlines expected changes in global manufacturing centres over the next five years.

Australia is expected to fall to 17th place in the next five years. However, changes to the efficiency of Australia's innovation system and better utilising our highly skilled workforce could see improvement in Australia's manufacturing competitiveness ranking, according to Deloitte Manufacturing Partner, Damon Cantwell.

Australia needs to focus on greater complexity in product design and more involvement of IT in the design and manufacturing process. Australia also needs to improve connectivity between the research communities and manufacturing sector.

"The CRC process is really valuable where you have got companies who are looking for long term arrangements", Mr Cantwell said in an interview on ABC radio.

But more needs to be done, according to Mr Cantwell. The research community also needs to cater for manufacturers with specific discrete needs.

Listen to the ABC interview

Read the Deloitte report

CRC researchers awarded Victorian Fellowships

Two CRC researchers are among the winners of the 2012 Victoria Fellowships. The fellowships, awarded by the Victorian Government, provide each Fellow with $18,000 for international study missions.

Dr Colin Scholes, a Research Fellow at the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) at the University of Melbourne, has worked on developing membranes to separate carbon dioxide from other gases. His Victoria Fellowship will be used to access the latest in membrane contact technology to address many of the challenges that restrict carbon capture and storage.

Dr Everson Kandare, a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at RMIT University, has been working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures to create advanced thermal building insulation materials with heat resistance. His Victorian Fellowship will be used to test fire retardant materials developed in Victoria in order to ensure better bushfire resistant structures in the future.

More information in the 2012 Victorian Fellowships

DMTC researcher wins von Karman award

DMTC’s hypersonic and high temperature materials project leader, Dr Michael Smart was awarded the prestigious von Karman award for international aerospace cooperation in aeronautics at the recent International Council of Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) conference in Brisbane. Dr Smart was a co-recipient of the reward with Dr Allan Paull (DSTO), Mr Doug Dolvin (US Air Force Research Laboratory) and Dr Kevin Bowcutt (Boeing Research and Technology, USA).

Read more

Movember winds up

While the end of November sees the CRCA office looking forward to the clean upper lip of the CEO, there have been good opportunities to highlight men's mental health issues.

In a regular segment on 666 Canberra ABC radio, Tony Peacock was joined by Michael Berk, Project leader with CRC for Mental Health and Professor of Psychiatry at Barwon Health and Jane Burns, CEO of the Young and Well CRC.

Michael talked about his work on biomarkers for depression and anxiety, and Jane talked about young men's mental health and wellbeing.

Listen to the interview and be glad it was not TV!

Tony Peacock and Anthony Murfett

Mutton added to Pork CRC Board

Dennis Mutton and Sandra Di Blasio were elected to the Board of Directors of the CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork at its 2012 annual general meeting in Melbourne.

The Pork CRC Board now comprises Dr John Keniry (Chairman), Kathryn Adams, Sandra Di Blasio, Rod Hamann, Professor Simon Maddocks, Dennis Mutton, Professor John Pluske, Kenton Shaw, Andrew Spencer, Chris Trengrove, Professor Robert van Barneveld and Dr Hugh Wirth.

Pork CRC Chairman, Dr John Keniry, welcomed Mr Mutton and Ms Di Blasio to the Board, saying he looked forward to them making substantial contributions to the CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork as it moved into its second year and began to have a very real impact.

“Although only early days, the Pork CRC is already making positive inroads into the areas of pig welfare, animal and human health and carbon management,” he said.

Read the full press release

Looking to improving research output? Think training for postdocs.

Postdocs are vital for research institutes, driving ideas and output that underpin performance and cement their future. They are pivotal to staff culture and cohesion as well as supervision and mentoring of students and colleagues.

Optimising postdocs' productivity and equipping them with the skills to perform to their full potential is an obvious priority; yet until now there's been no ready-made training available to suit them. That has changed with the arrival of PostdocTraining, a cost-effective option for research centres keen to develop their postdocs but stuck for a solution.

Designed by a former postdoc, for postdocs, PostdocTraining is a complete online program developing essential skills such as planning, managing time, people and projects, improving productivity and attracting funding. It offers practical techniques, advice and tools custom-made to help postdocs get the best from themselves, deliver for their institutes and build their careers.

Centres can scale the program's reach and include remotely located staff who would otherwise miss out. The program also offers direct mentoring, provides a news service and caters for different learning timeframes and styles. Watch a video about Science Media

More information email Kerstin Fritsches or visit the website.

Research Director for CRC Mining

CRC Mining is seeking a Research Director to provide operational leadership and management to CRCMining’s research activities and engagement with Centre Stakeholders. The Research Director will manage the Centre's operational research functions including financial, logistical and human resources; project management; and research communications. For a position description or more information, please contact Pip Thomson. Applications close 14 December 2012.

Full job advertisement


collaborate innovate 2013

May 15-17 2013
The CRCA's Annual Conference

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Super Earlybird Registration now available

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
  • 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.


4 December 2012

Australian Electric Vehicle Conference

5 December 2012

Plug-in 4 Power

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

Queensland University of Technology


University of South Australia

Online courses

Part-time Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation and Master of Research Management & Commercialisation

Closing date:
Semester 1 2013 - 18 January 2013

Cost: (Domestic) $1932

e-Grad School, QUT

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 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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