Tony Peacock, CRCA CEO

Getting ready for Round 19

Getting ready for Round 19

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos AO, recently announced more than $150 million in funding for four new CRCs. This comes on top of $34.5 million for 17 new CRC-Projects and finalisation of the Board for the CRC for Developing Northern Australia. And don’t forget the 3 DCRCs announced by the Department of Defence.

Round 3 of CRC-Project funding closed recently and the 19th round for CRCs will be open very soon. It’s timely to think about more common issues that bidders need to be on top of well ahead of lodging their bid.

  1. Bidding for a CRC is serious business. Most are $4-5 million from the government per year for up to a decade, which is about a quarter of their resources. So, you are talking around $200 million, a very serious investment that must make a return.
  2. Spend most of your effort on relationships. It will cost time and money to bid for a CRC. Years of observing that process tells us to invest more time early on in relationships and asking the key questions. You cannot rush a CRC application in the last weeks, because organisation will need time to decide if the proposed collaboration is right for them.
  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. The legal structure, IP arrangements, project agreements, banking, travel arrangements, and early career development programs have been developed over 25 years and should not cause angst. Many of the suppliers the CRC Association has confidence in will be workshopping at Collaborate | Innovate | 2017.
  4. What will you actually do? Don’t let the bidding process become a “fog of CRC” where you lose the big picture. You will be aiming to move a whole industry to a different level – keep focused on the key factors that will enable the change. Make sure you can explain them to a stranger in 30 seconds.

It’s an exciting time for innovation in Australia and Round 19 of the CRC Programme will likely be a further injection of $100-200 million of federal support.

Who can help you?

  • Travel – Campus Travel is the CRC Association’s preferred full service travel provider. Last year Campus Travel saved CRC Association members upwards of $200,000.
  • – Westpac have worked with the CRC Association to understand the banking needs of CRCs.
  • Early Career Researchers – The CRC Association can provide access to Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework. Mentoring? Try Mentorloop or coaching to ensure fast finishing. PhDs? – Richard Huysmans from Raven Consulting can help.  Internships? AMSI Intern has it worked out.
  • Legal Services – the CRC Association can put you in contact with Lawyers experienced in CRC structures, like FAL Lawyers.
  • Learning how to collaborate – Collabforge and the CRC Association are teaming up to offer collaboration and bid support training through the CRC Collaboration Accelerator. See the article below for more information.

The CRCs we know who are looking to bid:

  • CRC for Advanced Medical Biotechnology (AMB)
  • CRC for Critical Chronic Conditions
  • Farming Smarter CRC
  • Food Waste & Fraud Prevention CRC
  • MinEx CRC
  • SubSea CRC
  • Resource Data Science CRC
  • Digital Health CRC
  • Future Energy CRC (building on the Energy Pipelines CRC)
  • CRC for Traumatic Brain Injury

The CRC Association is aware of several other bids that do not yet want publicity. We are pleased to put interested readers in touch with appropriate bidders. Contact [email protected]