In the previous selection round, 30 applications were received, 13 were shortlisted, and only four were ultimately funded (see Successful Cooperative Research Centre Bids Announced).
According to the CRC Association, eight of the 26 'new' applications appear to be applications from existing CRC's for continuing funding. In an email bulletin, the Association's Professor Tony Peacock is quoted as saying:
"Interest in the CRC Program continues to be extremely high from industry and researchers. I have only seen a small number of the applications but each of them has been of exceptional quality and the pity of this Round, like last, is that it is simply too competitive for the funding available. Last year's success rate of 13% meant that proposals that are important to the country simply can't be funded."
"The finalisation of the Backing Australia's Ability Program; the cuts to the CRC Program budget in the 2010 election and the 2011 budget cut make it even more difficult to gain Government support for these important proposals."
"Cooperative Research Centres are the silo-breakers of the Australian Innovation System. They represent less than 2% of the system and this is shrinking in both percentage and real dollar terms. There is about $165,000,000 available to the Program this year compared with $211,000,000 in the 2007-2008 year".
"We don't think we have any entitlement to support, but review after review has proven the CRC Program delivers. There is a strong case for revitalising the Program's funding and we will continue to press that case to Government".
The 26 applications are as follows (bold entries are those identified as requests for renewed funding):
- Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre
- Cooperative Research Centre for Cotton Regions
- Sustainable Heritage and Responsible Development (SHaReD) CRC
- Cooperative Research Centre in Pharmaceutical Analysis
- Cooperative Research Centre for Regional Innovation
- CRC for Nanodevices and Therapeutics
- CRC for Forestry
- Cooperative Research Centre for Metals Discovery
- Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies
- CRC for Innovation in Learning and Teaching with Technology
- Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
- Sleep and Alertness CRC
- CRC for Securing & Rebuilding Biodiversity
- Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
- The CRC for Low Carbon Living
- Australian Creative Futures CRC
- CRC for Lung Health
- CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Automotive Australia 2020 CRC (AA2020CRC)
- CRC for Water Sensitive Cities
- CRC for Telehealth and Telecare
- CAST CRC
- CRC for Polymers
- CRC for Social Inclusion
- Australian Power CRC
- Designing Better Cities and Regional Centres CRC
The list of applicants will now be whittled down to those lucky few (perhaps around half of the total number, based on past experience) that will be invited to proceed to stage 2 of the selection process. These will then attend a face to face interview in Canberra between 7-9 November 2011.