Call for applications – Awards for Excellence in Innovation 2017

The Board of the CRC Association invites applications for Awards for Excellence in Innovation, for the application and use of research, and in education and training and public outreach activities.

The Awards for Excellence in Innovation 2017 will be presented at Collaborate| Innovate | 2017 in Canberra.

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The aim is to showcase the CRC Programme’s unique and influential role in the Australian innovation system. CRCs accelerate innovation delivery for the benefit of Australia through collaboration between researchers and the users of research. The awards also showcase innovative education and training and public outreach activities.


The Awards for Excellence in Innovation were initiated in 1999 to recognise outstanding examples of the transfer of CRC research results, knowledge and technologies that have been developed for a wide range of users of research, including the community, companies, and government agencies.

The presentation of the awards during the CRC Association’s Annual Conference has provided the opportunity to showcase the CRC Programme and its achievements to a wider audience of influential people invited as guests of the Association and individual CRCs.

The Awards provide the opportunity to highlight the main objective of the CRC Programme:

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Programme is an Australian Government Initiative administered by AusIndustry, a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
The CRC Programme supports medium to long-term end-user driven research collaborations to address major challenges facing Australia. CRCs pursue solutions to these challenges that are innovative, of high impact and capable of being effectively deployed by the end users.

Eminent Judges

Applications are assessed by a panel of eminent judges appointed by the CRC Association Board. These include scientists, communicators, and industry leaders and those specialising in facilitating the uptake of research and in education.

Presentation of Awards

In 2017 the Awards will be presented at a Gala Presentation Dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House on Wednesday 24 May as part of the CRC Association’s Annual Conference, Collaborate | Innovate | 2017.

Invited guests will include Australian Government representatives, industry representatives, key stakeholders of the CRC Programme, senior executives from many research-user and education groups and media people.

Award winners will be presented with engraved trophies. The CRC Association will pay for up to three trophies, winners can request extra trophies at their own expense. The Awards are made to the CRC and its user participant(s). A 2-minute video will be made to showcase the innovation for each winner at the Awards Dinner. The CRC Association will help organise the video production and will share the cost with the winners. The winners will be able to use their video for other publicity purposes after the Awards have been presented.

CRCs attending the Awards Dinner are invited to make up tables comprising representatives of both their research providers and users of research. This is an excellent occasion to recognise and entertain the CRC’s special customers and stakeholders.

Number of Awards

Up to four Awards are available for innovation with demonstrated impact for Australia. The impact might arise from innovation in the application and use of research or from innovation in education and training or public outreach activities.

Award Criteria

The Awards for Excellence in Innovation are made on the basis of three judging criteria:

  1. Quality of Collaboration
  2. Impact of Innovation
  3. End user support

Entry and Judging procedure

  1. Applicants must be members of the CRC Association
  2. Applicants may enter more than one application but each application must be for a different project
  3. Applicants can nominate up to 10 team members
  4. Applicants must provide evidence of collaboration. Judges will look at the quality of collaboration through the establishment of relationships and synergies between the participants (2+2=5):
  1. this may include collaboration across different disciplines or cultures;
  2. it may involve deep collaboration across organisations as evidenced by activities such as work conducted by public sector researchers (eg from University) in the premises of a company delivering the innovation; and
  3. end user involvement in collaboration will be deemed valuable in ensuring the innovation is appropriately targeted – it may involve expertise in scale-up or marketing at early stages; customer involvement or crowdsourcing.
  1. Applicants must provide evidence of the impact of their innovation. Judges will look for evidence that the innovation has been delivered and is making a difference:
  1. Volume and extent of sales may be an indicator of impact for a commercial innovation. However, impact on society and/or the environment will also be regarded equally;
  2. The innovation must have been delivered in the past five years, that is, after 1 January 2012. This may be evidenced by a policy change as a result of the innovation, changes to land or water management practices or changes in patient treatment, for example;
  3. International impact will be highly regarded, but is not necessary; and
  4. The judges will also consider the likely ongoing impact of the innovation. Judges will take into account the relative impact of your innovation. For example, the prevention of a species becoming extinct may have a profound impact on an ecosystem but may not have an easily measurable dollar impact.
  1. Applicants must provide evidence of end user support for the innovation. A letter of support should be provided to demonstrate that the innovation is valued by the end user.
  2. Award winners will be recognised at the Awards for Excellence in Innovation Gala Dinner and in subsequent publicity. Trophies will be awarded.


Karen Mobbs
CRC Association Conference Organiser
Phone: 02 6259 6384
Email: [email protected]

Application checklist

  • Address each of the criteria, in the appropriate online form fields.  Provide evidence to support your claims.
  • Signed letter(s) of support (on letterhead) from the users of the research or education & training and public outreach recipients, which substantiate the benefits and identify the value of the interaction from the user perspective.  These are particularly important as they show the value the user derives from the innovation.  They are in addition to the written text. Up to five letters can be submitted through the online form, PDF format is preferred.
  • Applications must be clear and concise and offer a different angle from those of previous applications on the same topic.
  • Provide three high res colour photos or images that can be used to promote your project. These may be used during the awards dinner, on the CRCA website and in other promotional material.
  • Applications are required by COB Tuesday 21 February 2017 via the online application form. The password to access the form is available from the CRCA Office.
  • Winners will be notified by the end of March 2017. The CRC Association will help organise production of a 2-minute video to be played during the Awards Dinner at Parliament House on Wednesday 24 May.

How to apply

Applications close at COB on Tuesday 21 February 2017. Applications are to be submitted online. A password is required to access the form, it is available from the CRCA Office, email [email protected].

Apply now



Tony Peacock
Chief Executive
CRC Association
Unit 1, 10 Bourke Street