09 December 2010

Successful Cooperative Research Centre Bids Announced

The Australian Government Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr, has announced the successful bids for funding in the 13th Round of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program.

As the Minister's Media Release puts it:
Four new world-class research centres are being established to help prevent mental illness in young Australians, transform our pork industry, improve our environment and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

More precisely, two existing CRCs and two new CRCs have received funding totaling around A$100 million, these being:
  1. CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork (A$20m), to 'support our pork producers and regional Australia to maintain local production of high quality food at affordable prices, while improving pig welfare';
  2. CRC for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing (A$27m), to 'study how technology can help prevent and treat mental illness in our youth';
  3. CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (A$29m), to 'develop solutions to overcome and prevent contamination of soil, water and air to improve our environment'; and
  4. CRC for Mental Health (A$23m), to 'develop better diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Schizophrenia and contribute to better treatment'.
The CRC Program, which represents some 2% of the Australian Government's innovation spending, is intensely competitive.  From 30 applications, 13 were short listed and only four have received funding offers.

As the Government's CRC web site explains:
A CRC is an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, formed through collaborative partnerships between publicly funded researchers and end users. CRCs must comprise at least one Australian end-user (either from the private, public or community sector) and one Australian higher education institution (or research institute affiliated with a university).
The CRC Program provides funding to build critical mass in research ventures between end-users and researchers which tackle clearly-articulated, major challenges for the end-users.

The CRC Program commenced under the Hawke/Keating Labor Government in 1991, and selection rounds were conducted in March 1991, December 1991, December 1992, December 1994, and then at regular two year intervals: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006.  Following a review of the Program in 2008, the 11th Selection Round and 12th Selection Round were both held in 2009 and annual selection rounds are now conducted.

Minister Carr has also announced the 14th Selection Round, with encouragement of centres in the areas of clean manufacturing, social innovation and sustainable regional communities.

Our congratulations to the successful candidates!


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