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Driving research and delivering results for Australia

21 February 2014

The Australian Government will create three new Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and extend four existing CRCs to drive research that will deliver practical benefits to industry and the community in fields including manufacturing, agriculture, health care and data security.

Announcing almost $186 million in funding, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said CRCs bring together key industry partners, world class researchers, the community and Government to create new opportunities and develop solutions to assist Australian industries.

“The benefits of collaboration are well known. These seven industry-driven CRCs will bring together more than 130 organisations across Australia and internationally, including 60 industry partners and organisations in Asia, Europe and United States,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“CRCs provide amazing opportunities. Australian companies such as EOS Space Systems will collaborate with world class researchers and large multi nationals such as Lockheed Martin to develop new technologies, gain access to global markets and improve their competitiveness.

“The CRC Program is a joint effort - since 1991, the Australian Government has committed more than $3.7 billion to CRCs and CRC participants have contributed a further $11.7 billion in cash and in-kind support.

“Significant funding for long term research projects allows CRCs to tackle ambitious projects. Strong competition for funding results in high quality projects being supported and I am sure these CRCs will continue to deliver major benefits to Australia.”

The three new CRCs are:

  • The Rail Manufacturing CRC ($31 million) which will develop products, technologies and supply chain networks to increase the capability and globally competitive position of the rail industry.
  • The Data to Decisions CRC ($25 million) which will develop robust tools to maximise the benefits that Australia’s defence and national security sector can extract from big data to reduce national security threats.
  • The Space Environment Management CRC ($19.8 million) which will monitor, analyse and manage space debris and develop new technologies and strategies to preserve the space environment for the benefit of Australia.

The four extended CRCs are:

  • The Hearing CRC ($28 million) which will develop new devices, therapies and service delivery models to improve the prevention, detection and remediation of hearing disorders.
  • The Cancer Therapeutics CRC ($34 million) which will build on the drug-discovery engine it has already created to discover effective new drugs for major cancers and improve the lives of Australian children with cancer through tailored and personalised treatment.
  • The Capital Markets CRC ($32.4 million) which will develop operational technology solutions to enhance the integrity and efficiency of financial and health markets in Australia and globally.
  • The CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation ($15.5 million) which will enhance sheep wellbeing and productivity, value-based trading of sheep meat and deliver affordable technologies to transform the Australian sheep industry.

“In addition to this funding, the Advanced Manufacturing and Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRCs are well positioned to assist the Australian manufacturing industry to adapt to new, high tech manufacturing processes and will assist in opening new markets. These applications displayed merit and are proposing to address issues of national importance. As such I have asked these CRCs to submit a combined proposal for my consideration.”

More information about the successful new and extended CRCs is available at http://www.crc.gov.au/Selection-Rounds/16th-Selection-Round/Pages/Assessment-Outcomes.aspx.

Applications for the 17th CRC Program selection round will open on 3 March 2014 and close on 3 July 2014.

Applications that are industry-led and focused on practical outcomes are encouraged to apply. Applications should address market needs and focus on solutions that diversify the Australian economy and improve the competiveness, productivity, sustainability and export potential of Australian industries.  Information sessions will be held around the country and interested parties can register to attend on the CRC Program website.

Potential applicants should visit http://www.crc.gov.au/ or contact the CRC Program helpline on (02) 6213 7177 or crc.program [at] industry.gov.au for more information.

Media contacts: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070