About the CRC Program

The Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program supports industry-led research collaborations between industry, researchers and the community.

The Program
aims to:

  • Improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially where Australia has a competitive strength, and in line with Government priorities.
     

  • Foster high quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry-led and outcome focussed collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations.
     

  • Encourage and facilitate small and medium (SME) participation in collaborative research.
     

  • Since its inception in 1990, the CRC Program has committed $4.6 billion in funding to support the establishment of 221 CRC Grants and 76 CRC-P Grants - a total of 297 collaborations funded over the program’s lifetime.

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What is a CRC

Upon a successful bid outcome, a CRC is established as an incorporated entity. It is formed through a collaboration of partner organisations from research, industry, government and not-for-profit sectors, with somewhere between 20 to 60+ partners. CRCs will be awarded funding for up to ten years, with an average of $44.5 million awarded per CRC over the last three rounds. Partner contributions add to the value of the CRC, and are typically three to four times the value of Commonwealth funding.
 

Partners in a CRC undertake research and development activities which lead to economic, social and environmental impacts. CRCs provide partnering companies - multinationals to SMEs - with a unique and attractive proposition. These partners can access the best research team in Australia via a single entity (the CRC) for R&D that delivers solutions on major industry challenges; and gear the R&D costs with funds from the Commonwealth and research providers who are sharing the risks, and the returns.
 

The CRC must have an education and training program, which will focus on industry and vocational training as well as the mandatory PhD program. CRCs also provide the community with access to public good IP, resources such as technical guidance reports, and evidence to inform policy decisions.
 

The CRC is actively managed by a CRC management team and fully independent / majority independent Board.

Research partners are funded to deliver research projects that provide solutions to industry challenges.

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CRC Round 24 dates

Tentative timeline for Round 24 CRC grant applications:

  • Stage 1 close September 2022

  • Stage 2 open December 2022

  • Stage 2 close February 2023

  • Interviews to be held March 2023

  • Outcomes announced May 2023

  • Funding commences second half of 2023

CRC Benefits

The CRC Association webpage provides an overview of broader CRC benefits, summarised below.
 

CRCs assemble multidisciplinary teams from research providers to address end user driven research. They collaborate across all sectors (Industry, Academia, State Government, Consumers and Industry Associations) and create a critical mass in their field. No other Australian Government program does that!
 

Industry can deal through one organisation, the CRC, which can assemble the best teams in Australia to develop the technology that the company needs, manage the process professionally to deliverables and gear it with funds from the Commonwealth.
 

CRCs are managed to deliver impacts not just publications, and are held to account to deliver.
 

The stability of funding provides certainty for the research partners and also for the end- user partners.
 

CRCs provide research management skills and discipline. This helps ensure the research is managed to a high standard.
 

The level of governance is a real strength. The overall activities are actively managed by the CRC management team and Board to maximise the national benefits. This includes terminating, redirecting or accelerating projects in a way that is not part of the culture of most other programs.

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CRCs provide a mechanism for realising unanticipated commercial opportunities, i.e. in cases where technologies have applications beyond the interests of the commercial partners, the CRC can pursue these through the creation of spin off companies, licenses etc.
 

CRCs play an important role in bridging the gap between discovery research funded by NHMRC and ARC grants and the requirements of industry for commercialisation-ready innovations.
 

CRCs foster “hands-on” learning. Although they are heavily focused on postgraduate education, and thereby providing training for very highly skilled professionals, CRCs are involved, to differing extents, at all levels of the education and training system.
 

CRCs encourage innovation through their interaction and reach with small and medium size enterprises.