Tony Peacock, CRCA CEO

Keeping up with CRC Opportunities

There’s an awful lot happening in the CRC world. You’ll need to pay attention just to keep up: the Northern Development CRC is getting underway; Round 18 of the CRC Programme is (almost) completed, Round 3 of CRC-Projects closes tomorrow; Defence CRCs are starting up and the consultation on priorities ahead of Round 19 is getting processed. Let’s go through them one by one.

  • The Board for CRC for Developing Northern Australia has been announced, with Sheriden Morris as Chair.  Sheriden has been very successful as Managing Director of the Cairns-based non-profit Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). The Board of the CRC will work with stakeholders and AusIndustry over the next few months to develop final plans for the CRC. A funding round has been announced seeking projects up to $3 million in CRC funding in the areas of (1) tropical health and medicine, including models of care; and (2) tropical and northern agriculture including animal and plant improvement and sustainability.The funding arrangements are similar to those for CRC-Projects, with the round closing 20 April 2017.
  • Minister Sinodinos recently announced the outcomes of Round 18 of the CRC Programme.  Over $150 million was allocated to four new CRCs, being High Performing Soils, Honey Bee Products, Food Agility and iMove. Fifteen proposals were received back almost a year ago and fourteen were judged compliant. Seven were shortlisted for Stage II of the selection process and interviews were conducted last November. The Minister has also invited one CRC to submit a revised proposal.
  • The 19th selection round for Cooperative Research Centres will commence in May. No announcements have been made as yet, but the timetable should be (approximately) Stage I close late June/early July. Shortlisting August/September and Stage II close October. Interviews November and announcement December or January 2018 for CRCs to commence July 2018. Although the official opening of the funding round may be several months away, applicants are very active right now (see bottom of the newsletter).
  • Tomorrow is the closing day for the 3rd Selection Round for CRC-Projects. Check feedback on the second round from the Chairman of the CRC Advisory Committee in a later article.
  • Defence Cooperative Research Centres are an extremely exciting development from the Federal Government. Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, made an important announcement about the DCRCs last week. The Defence CRCs are part of the $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund, which represents a major new injection of funds over a decade from last year’s Defence White Paper. In line with the Government’s commitment to greater involvement of Australian business in defence technologies, the DCRCs represent an important opportunity. The first Defence Cooperative Research Centre is planned for the development of Trusted Autonomous Systems.You can hear Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Alex Zelinsky, speak at Collaborate | Innovate | 2017 and arrange meetings to discuss DCRCs at the Business Research Match-Up.