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$74M boost for minerals processing and manufacturing CRCs

26 May 2015

Industry-led research to improve resource extraction and support innovative manufacturing will be boosted with $74 million in Government funding for two Cooperative Research Centres.

The established CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) will receive $34.45 million to fund its ongoing activities in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of mineral extraction to 30 June 2021.

The new CRC for Innovative Manufacturing (IM CRC) will receive $40 million over seven years to 30 June 2022 to assist Australian manufacturers to transition to high-value internationally competitive manufacturing.

Speaking at the CRC Association annual conference in Canberra, Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said CRCs will continue to be an important asset for driving greater collaboration between industry and research.

“CRCs are a highly successful way of bringing industry and research organisations together to apply the latest research knowledge to the real-world problems facing industry,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“More than 60 organisations, including multi-nationals, SMEs and peak industry bodies, will be involved in these CRCs. They will bring together a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as financial support, to increase productivity in their sectors.

“The CRCs will work closely with the new Industry Growth Centres to address common goals and priorities, ensuring an integrated approach to overcoming challenges and developing market opportunities for local businesses.

“The Australian Government has put science at the centre of industry policy through the range of measures in the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

“Along with Industry Growth Centres which focus on the areas in which Australia has a competitive edge, CRCs will drive productivity, innovation and collaboration gains, and identify commercial opportunities to exploit global markets and generate new jobs.”

The CRC ORE, headquartered in Brisbane, will continue to develop Australia’s mining services sector by targeting operational inefficiencies, enabling the recovery of lower-grade ore deposits in an energy and cost effective way.

This approach will diversify benefits from Australia’s natural resources by increasing the capacity and market opportunities for local businesses.

The IM CRC, headquartered in Melbourne, will be established to develop knowledge-intensive competitive industries in areas of global growth, including additive manufacturing, lightweight robotics and medical devices.

The CRC will work with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to assist Australian manufacturers to transition from traditional manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, internationally-competitive activities.

The Government is investing more than $731 million over five years for the Cooperative Research Centres to continue their diverse range of research.

Since 1991, the Government has committed more than $4 billion in funding to the CRC Programme and supported over 200 CRCs.

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070