New research centres to tackle methane emissions and plastic pollution
The Albanese Government has today announced a $127 million investment in research centres to cut emissions in the agriculture sector and eliminate plastic waste.
The funding has been awarded from Round 24 of the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program, an Australian Government initiative established in 1990 which funds industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and end users.
Funding will support two new large-scale Cooperative Research Centres:
The CRC for Zero Net Emissions from Agriculture has received $87 million to further develop and scale up technologies to reduce methane emissions from grazing cattle and sheep, and to improve crop quality and production.
The Solving Plastic Waste CRC has received $40 million to transform the way plastics are designed, manufactured, used and recycled, and to develop a solution to remove microplastic pollution in soil.
These CRCs align with the National Reconstruction Fund’s priority areas, as well as the Government’s broader ambitions to achieve net zero by 2050 and tackle plastic waste.
These two CRCs will leverage more than $315 million in cash and in-kind contributions from project partners, and improve industry outcomes across the agriculture, environment, recycling and manufacturing sectors.
The CRCs will involve more than 118 project partners working across Australia, including 50 small to medium enterprises, as well as 21 university partners from 17 universities, and 14 government agencies including Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.
Minister Husic has also announced today that Round 25 of the CRC Program will open from 8 January 2024, closing on 5 March 2024.
Government priorities are always considered as part of the assessment criteria in CRC selection rounds, with CRC applicants from all industry sectors and research disciplines having the opportunity to demonstrate alignment with Government priorities.
All information on the round, including the Grant Opportunity Guidelines, are available on business.gov.au.
Since the CRC Program commenced over 30 years ago, the Australian Government has committed more than $5.7 billion to establish 238 CRCs and 232 CRC Projects, leveraging a further $17.3 billion in cash and in-kind contributions from collaborating partners from industry, research, government and community organisations.
Quotes attributable to the Hon Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science:
“The message from the latest Climate Statement is clear, we’re close but we need to pull out all the stops to get over the line on our 2030 climate commitments.
“We need to mobilise Australian industry to play its role in the transition to net zero now. But we also need to think about the next big steps, which is why it is important to get Australian science and industry working together on this.
“There are very few challenges more crucial than achieving net zero emissions and tackling plastic pollution.
“I wish these two new CRCs every success in achieving the important objectives they have set.”