Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)

Cooperative Research Centres

What is the Cooperative Research Centres Program?

The Cooperative Research Centres program is a grant opportunity that supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community. The program is a proven model for linking researchers with industry to focus on research and development towards use and commercialisation.



Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grants are part of the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program. The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)  Program supports industry, research and the community in 2 ways:

  • CRC Grants – support medium to long term industry-led collaborative research, for up to 10 years.
  • CRC Projects (CRC-P) grants – support short term, industry-led collaborative research, for up to 3 years.

Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grants provide funding for collaborations to solve industry identified problems.



The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Programme 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-focused collaborative research partnerships between Industry Entities and Research Organisations.
  • encourage and facilitate Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) participation in collaborative research.



The Australian Government committed a total of $753 million over four years for the Cooperative Research Centres Program from 2019-20 to 2022-23. CRCs and CRC-Ps are funded by the same appropriation. There is no specific amount allocated to each of the two funding elements.

The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible grant project costs (grant percentage) which includes the total eligible expenditure plus allowable in-kind contributions.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible for the Cooperative Research Centres Program your project must:

  • be a medium to long term industry-led collaborative research project to solve industry-identified problems and improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries
  • include an industry-focused education and training program. This must include, but is not limited to, a PhD program that complements the research program and that increases engagement, technology development, skilled employees and R&D capacity within industry entities
  • implement strategies which build the R&D capacity within SMEs, and
  • deploy research outputs and encourage take-up by industry.

Eligible activities must directly relate to the project and can include:

  • new research
  • proof of concept activities
  • pre-commercialisation of research outcomes
  • industry-focused education and training activities, such as internships and secondments between industry entities and research organisations
  • conferences, workshops, symposia related to the joint research
  • related information sharing and communication initiatives related to the joint research
  • collaboration with international organisations and/or with companies with global supply chains and access to international markets, to provide national benefits to Australia.


Eligible Applicants

Cooperative Research Centres grants are open to all industry sectors and research disciplines and funding is available to organisations from all industry, research and community sectors. You must apply as a group of applicants who have agreed to collaborate. If your application is successful, you must establish your CRC as an incorporated company, limited by guarantee.

Each Cooperative Research Centres must include and maintain amongst its project partners at least:

  • an Australian industry entity and’
  • an Australian research organisation.

If your application is successful, the applicants become project partners in the relevant CRC and have certain obligations.

Partners from existing or former CRCs or CRC-Ps can be partners in other CRCs or CRC-Ps. Partners do not need to commit for the entire project period. All partners must contribute resources to the CRC. We treat partners’ proposed cash and in-kind contributions equally for the purposes of calculating the maximum grant amount.

CRCs can only accept applications:

  • where you can provide a declaration from each partner on the template provided on
  • where you can demonstrate the ability to at least match (in cash or in-kind) the grant funds requested.


$245M to launch Smart Satellite CRC

Defence Science and Technology is contributing $12 million through its Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) to establish a Smart Satellite Technologies and Analytics Cooperative Research Centre (SmartSat CRC) which will be based in South Australia with nodes in other Australian cities.

The Department of Industry, Science and Innovation is investing $55 million in the SmartSat CRC to advance space technologies, with $190 million in cash and kind coming from nearly 100 partners in industry, universities and overseas space agencies. The successful bid for the new CRC was led by the University of South Australia.

The research collaboration will deliver smart satellite systems that are Australian-designed, owned and operated to provide real-time connectivity, surveillance and sensing capability in space and over land and sea. This will include earth observation data and the power to drive industry innovation and the growth of the Internet of Things.


$74M boost for minerals processing and manufacturing CRCs

Industry-led research to improve resource extraction and support innovative manufacturing will be boosted with $74 million in Government funding for two Cooperative Research Centres (CRC).

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) will receive $34.45 million, this funding will extend the work of the CRC for ongoing activities in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of mineral extraction to 30 June 2021.

The new Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) for Innovative Manufacturing (IM CRC) will receive $40 million over seven years to 30 June 2022 to assist Australian manufacturers to transition to high-value internationally competitive manufacturing.

Speaking at the CRC Association annual conference in Canberra on May 26, Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said CRCs will continue to be an important asset for driving greater collaboration between industry and research.

“CRCs are a highly successful way of bringing industry and research organisations together to apply the latest research knowledge to the real-world problems facing industry,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“More than 60 organisations, including multi-nationals, SMEs and peak industry bodies, will be involved in these CRCs. They will bring together a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as financial support, to increase productivity in their sectors.

“The CRCs will work closely with the new Industry Growth Centres to address common goals and priorities, ensuring an integrated approach to overcoming challenges and developing market opportunities for local businesses.”

Some recent highlights of CRCs include research that has reduced the impact of invasive species like rabbits, work on making cell therapy more accessible and affordable and building a more resilient and profitable dairy industry.

Notable returns on industry investments include Boeing’s initial $17 million investment in the CRC for Advanced Composite Structures.

This has paid off in spades in terms of jobs and Australia’s largest aerospace contract, worth $4 billion over 20 years.

It has created 1300 jobs turning out moveable trailing edges for the 787 Dreamliner at Boeing’s sole source manufacturing facility in Melbourne.


Manufacturing on the Move

Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) Briefing for Existing and Prospective Industry Participants

Angus M Robinson
Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions®

Hear about the IMCRC and its focus on Industry led collaborative programs that will grow your business into the 21st century.

Learn how you can leverage your R&D expenditure through joining the IMCRC. You get access to federal funds and valuable industry research capability.

Manufacturing Industry Research Capability in NSW has global significance in growth market sectors with ‘state of the art’ research facilities.

Following this briefing, ‘one on one’ meetings will be organised in confidence to determine how the IMCRC and its research partners can support your market led R&D.

  • When: Friday September 30th from 9.00 am until noon followed by lunch.
  • Where: University of NSW Kensington. The Scientia-Gallery: Scientia Building Gallery Room (G19), southern end, enter near Civil Engineering building entrance.

Please register with Rohan Willard email: [email protected] by 23 September 2016 for catering purposes.

  • About: What the Australian Government and the publicly funded research sector can do to support market led industry research and development.


  • David Chuter CEO of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC
  • Tony Peacock CEO of the CRC Association

Potential areas of research focus of interest to industry:

  1. Additive manufacturing (e.g. design optimisation, hybrid processing, and new materials).
  2. Biomedical implants and devices (e.g., orthopedics, micro fluidics, and micro-needles).
  3. Water-based hydraulics, lightweight materials, and smart pumps.
  4. Microelectronics, advanced semi-conductors and power devices, and virtual and augmented reality.
  5. Lightweight composites, nano and biomaterials.


Expert Assistance

There were 26 applications for round 14, with six funded thus the chance of success was 23%. Although the same cannot be said for getting a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) up, which only have a 10% chance of being funded. Typically most of the CRCs funded are existing CRCs or are submitting for a second time.

CRCs are probably the most complex grant to put together. They take over a year of planning & development to put together and require a number of different skills sets

We can assist with your Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Grants application including:

  • Bid Management
  • Opportunity/Problem identification
  • Quantification of economic impact (Ideally $500 M)
  • Governance arrangements
  • Financial modelling (inputs and outputs)
  • Impact modelling
  • Education and training program
  • Research programs
  • Application Drafting



Applications close 29 July 2020.


Round 21

Application detailsApplication summary
Building 4.0 CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl): $28,000,000 over 7 years

Participant Contributions: $102,000,000 (cash and in-kind)

Through collaboration and new technologies of the 4th industrial age, Building 4.0 CRC will catapult the industry into an efficient, connected and customer-centric future. This will deliver better buildings at lower cost and the human capacity to lead the industry into the future.
SmartCrete CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl): $21,000,000 over 7 years

Participant Contributions: $69,000,000 (cash and in-kind)

SmartCrete CRC is a collaboration of asset owners, industry, small-medium enterprises, the supply chain and academic community which will work to step change the Australian concrete industry. SmartCrete will implement four key enablers for industry competitiveness – an innovation interface with regulators/standards bodies, skills and training development, risk mitigation performance testing and new products and processes across Australia.
Reliable Affordable Clean Energy (RACE) for 2030 CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl): $68,500,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions: $279,000,000 (cash and in-kind)

The Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 (RACE for 2030) CRC will maximise customer benefits from the rapid technological changes in low-cost renewable energy, network integration and smart energy management. RACE for 2030 will bring together the entire energy sector to improve business competitiveness, reduce consumer energy bills, foster Australian energy technology exports, and cut carbon emissions.
CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME)

Grant Funding (GST excl): $29,500,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions: $105,000,000 (cash and in-kind)

The CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC-TiME) will bring together a unique partnership of leading mining companies, mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies, regional and community development organisations, governments and research partners. The CRC will drive transformational change to enable regions and communities to transition to a prosperous and sustainable post-mine future.
Future Energy Exports (FEnEx) CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl): $40,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions: $122,250,000 (cash and in-kind)

Future Energy Exports (FEnEx) CRC will bring together national and international partners with expertise in LNG, hydrogen, digital technologies and sector development from industry, government, and research organisations. The CRC will assist in building a skilled workforce to support Australia’s evolving energy export industry and will develop and deliver micro-credentials that help existing workforces transition into the growing digital and hydrogen sectors.


Round 20

Application detailsApplication summary
Blue Economy CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$70,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:$258,687,981 (cash and in-kind)

The Blue Economy CRC will bring together national and international expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering as part of a collaborative effort between industry, researchers and the community to develop innovative and sustainable offshore industries to increase Australian seafood and marine renewable energy production.
SmartSat CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$55,000,000 over 7 years

Participant Contributions:$167,316,158 (cash and in-kind)

The SmartSat CRC will foster the creation of next generation space-technologies and make Australia more competitive in the global space economy by supporting the next wave of growth in critical industries including agriculture, transport, logistics, communications and mining, generating new high-tech jobs and strengthening national defence and security.
Future Battery Industries CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$25,000,000 over 6 years

Participant Contributions:$110,885,882 (cash and in-kind)

The Future Battery Industries CRC will address industry identified gaps in the battery industries value chain, support battery deployment and optimise the circular economy for battery waste recycling resulting in value creation, sustainability and global competitiveness of Australia’s battery value chain.
Future Food Systems CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$35,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:$149,580,122 (cash and in-kind)

The Future Food Systems CRC will work across the food supply chain and incorporate innovations in protected cropping, advanced manufacturing, smart logistics and food science to underpin high value industries in agrifood hubs and position Australia as a leader in supply of premium, nutritionally dense food goods.


Round 19

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation and Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia have announced the outcomes of the 19th CRC selection round.

Application detailsApplication summary
Digital Health CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$55,000,000 over 7 years

Participant Contributions:$174,224,000 (cash and in-kind)

The Digital Health CRC will improve the health and health care of Australians and advance the economy through collaborative research and development that combines multi-disciplinary skills, industry knowledge, technologies, networks and data to: empower consumers; understand and manage health risks of individuals and communities; support clinical practice; improve system efficiency and access to quality care; and build and enhance businesses to provide high value jobs and solutions in a growing global market.
Fight Food Waste CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$30,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:$102,900,000 (cash and in-kind)

To secure Australia’s food future, the Fight Food Waste CRC will reduce food waste throughout the supply chain, transform unavoidable waste into innovative high-value co-products and engage with industry and consumers to deliver behavioural change. Winning this fight has a $20 billion annual prize by increasing industry profitability, tackling food insecurity and enhancing Australia’s reputation as a sustainable and trusted producer of premium food products.
Future Fuels CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):$26,250,000 over 7 years

Participant Contributions:$64,389,000 (cash and in-kind)

The Future Fuels CRC will provide enabling research and development to transition energy infrastructure to a low-carbon economy using fuels such as hydrogen and biogas. It will develop transition pathways for existing infrastructure and equipment to transport and use these new fuels today and well into the future. Collaborating with over 50 companies, 6 universities, the energy market operator and state regulators, this CRC will realise the potential to store and deliver reliable, clean, and affordable energy through both new and repurposed networks.

Grant Funding (GST excl):$50,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:$165,738,000 (cash and in-kind)

Current declining mineral discovery rates mean fewer future mines. MinEx CRC will create new opportunities for mineral discovery by delivering: more productive, safer and environmentally friendly drilling methods; new technologies for collecting data while drilling; and exploration data on never before sampled deposits. The outcomes will also grow the high value Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector.


Round 18

On 7 March 2017, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science announced the outcomes of the 18th Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) selection round. The four successful applicants are detailed below. These CRCs are expected to commence operations in mid 2017.

Application detailsApplication Summary
CRC for High Performance Soils

Grant Funding (GST excl):
$39,500,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:
$136,843,552 (cash and in-kind)

The CRC for High Performance Soils (CRC-HPS) will give farmers the knowledge and tools they need to make decisions on extremely complex soil management issues. CRC-HPS bridges the gap between soil science and farm management. Our practical, real-world outputs will allow farmers to optimise their productivity, yield and profitability, and ensure the long-term sustainability of their farming businesses.
CRC for Honey Bee Products

Grant Funding (GST excl):
$7,000,000 over 5 years

Participant Contributions:
$19,222,384 (cash and in-kind)

This CRC for Honey Bee Products is opportune given the increased demand for ‘clean and green’ products internationally and the discovery of Australian Manuka honey. Unique floral hive sites will be linked to product quality control processes to underpin the healthy product image for national and international markets. Inter-disciplinary researchers together with industry, will create valuable, proprietary knowledge and systems whilst providing a training platform for continuous improvement.
Food Agility CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):
$50,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:
$161,964,000 (cash and in-kind)

The Food Agility CRC aims to empower Australia’s food industry to grow its comparative advantage through digital transformation. The CRC will integrate the agile culture and processes of the digital economy through a whole-of-value-chain lens for fresh and processed food.
The approach is to share data to build brand, markets, jobs and exports. Teams spanning agriculture, food and technology-related disciplines and will maximise impacts for the food and agribusiness sector.
iMove CRC

Grant Funding (GST excl):
$55,000,000 over 10 years

Participant Contributions:
$178,780,000 (cash and in-kind)

The iMOVE CRC is tackling the growing challenges to efficient movement of people and freight. It is exploiting the digital revolution and evolving vehicle technologies to enable traffic to flow more smoothly, create more efficient connections between transport modes and provide choice to travellers and freight operators through real time information. In this way it will deliver reduced congestion, fuel use and emissions, and improved national productivity and international competitiveness.

The four successful applicants were among the 14 compliant stage one applications received by 31 March 2016 for the 18th CRC selection round. Seven of the stage one applicants were invited to stage two of the assessment process and were asked to submit a full business case. After submitting business cases by 21 October 2016 the applicants attended interviews with the CRC Advisory Committee on 29 and 30 November 2016.


Round 16

The Australian Government will create three new Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) and extend four existing CRCs to drive research that will deliver practical benefits to industry and the community in fields including manufacturing, agriculture, health care and data security. The total funding for Round 16 was $186 million.

The three new CRCs are:

  • The Rail Manufacturing CRC ($31 million) which will develop products, technologies and supply chain networks to increase the capability and globally competitive position of the rail industry.
  • The Data to Decisions CRC ($25 million) which will develop robust tools to maximise the benefits that Australia’s defence and national security sector can extract from big data to reduce national security threats.
  • The Space Environment Management CRC ($19.8 million) which will monitor, analyse and manage space debris and develop new technologies and strategies to preserve the space environment for the benefit of Australia.

The four extended CRCs are:

  • The Hearing CRC ($28 million) which will develop new devices, therapies and service delivery models to improve the prevention, detection and remediation of hearing disorders.
  • The Cancer Therapeutics CRC ($34 million) which will build on the drug-discovery engine it has already created to discover effective new drugs for major cancers and improve the lives of Australian children with cancer through tailored and personalised treatment.
  • The Capital Markets CRC ($32.4 million) which will develop operational technology solutions to enhance the integrity and efficiency of financial and health markets in Australia and globally.
  • The CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation ($15.5 million) which will enhance sheep wellbeing and productivity, value-based trading of sheep meat and deliver affordable technologies to transform the Australian sheep industry.

These seven industry-driven CRCs will bring together more than 130 organisations across Australia and internationally, including 60 industry partners and organisations in Asia, Europe and United States.

Australian companies such as EOS Space Systems will collaborate with world class researchers and large multi nationals such as Lockheed Martin to develop new technologies, gain access to global markets and improve their competitiveness.
Significant funding for long term research projects allows CRCs to tackle ambitious projects. Strong competition for funding results in high quality projects being supported and I am sure these CRCs will continue to deliver major benefits to Australia.”

The full list of applicants for Round 16 were:

  • Advanced Manufacturing CRC
  • Cancer Therapeutics Cooperative Research Centre
  • Capital Markets CRC
  • The CRC for Cyber Security (CyberCRC)
  • CRC for Increasing Agricultural Soil Productivity
  • CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation
  • Data to Decisions CRC
  • The Hearing CRC
  • Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRC
  • Rail Manufacturing CRC
  • Space Environment Management CRC
  • Wildlife Biodiversity Cooperative Research Centre
  • Centre of Perinatal Excellence Cooperative Research Centre (COPE-CRC)
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Exercise, Fitness and Injury Technologies
  • CRC for Active and Engaged Ageing
  • CRC for Diabetes and Obesity
  • CRC for Innovative Science Communication and Outreach (CISCO)


Round 15

  • CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity ($14.5 million) – This CRC will reduce the burden of impaired alertness on the safety, productivity and health of all Australians.
  • CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing ($20 million) – This CRC will help make Australia a world leader in the manufacture of cell therapies.
  • CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders ($31 million) – This CRC will enhance the lives of individuals with lifelong development disabilities arising from an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Vision CRC ($5 million) – This CRC will dramatically improve eye care in remote environments by developing a world-first intelligent retinal camera


Round 14

  • Automotive Australia 2020 CRC ($26 million) – This CRC will undertake research programs and build human capital in areas of vehicle electrification, gaseous fuels and production of greener vehicles and components.
  • CRC for Low Carbon Living ($28 million) -This CRC will bring together leading researchers and key end-users to develop new tools to reduce carbon emissions and transform the built environment to a low carbon future.
  • CRC for Polymers ($14.5 million) – This CRC will contribute to establishing Australia as a leading provider and exporter of products that meet emerging global needs in the areas of health therapies, water and food security and low-cost solar energy.
  • CRC for Water Sensitive Cities ($30 million) – This CRC will deliver the planning, technology and decision support tools required to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of urban water systems.
  • Invasive Animals CRC ($19.7 million) – This CRC will deliver key technologies to reduce the impacts of new and existing pest animals on Australia’s agricultural competitiveness and biodiversity assets.
  • Plant Biosecurity CRC ($29.7 million) – This CRC will develop and deploy the knowledge and tools to safeguard Australia from damaging plant pest incursions.


Round 13

  • CRC for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing ($27 million) will help put a stop to this by studying how technology can help prevent and treat mental illness in our youth.
  • CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork ($20 million) will support our pork producers and regional Australia to maintain local production of high quality food at affordable prices, while improving pig welfare.
  • CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment ($29 million) will develop solutions to overcome and prevent contamination of soil, water and air to improve our environment.
  • CRC for Mental Health ($23 million) will develop better diagnostic tools for these disorders and contribute to better


Round 12

  • CRC for Advanced Composite Structures ($14 million): will connect Australian small and medium enterprises in manufacturing, materials supply and engineering to international value chains.
  • CRC for Infrastructure and Engineering Asset Management ($12 million): to increase the availability, productivity and useful life of defence assets (including combat aircraft and ships), and of railways and power and water utilities.
  • CRC for Environmental Biotechnology ($4 million): to commercialise biotechnologies that use natural biological systems to transform waste into useful products and green energy, and rapid microbial monitoring platforms.
  • CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction ($17.5 million): to transform mineral deposit evaluation and extraction, to significantly enlarge Australia’s mineral resource and generate a more sustainable mining industry.
  • CRC for Remote Economic Participation ($32.5 million): to support the Government’s commitment to close the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage and develop economically sustainable communities in remote areas.
  • Wound Management Innovation CRC ($28 million): to improve wound healing and quality of life for people with wounds, and provide cost-effective wound care that lessens burdens on our healthcare system.
  • Vision CRC ($22 million): to deliver revolutionary vision care treatments and products for sufferers of eye problems like myopia and cataracts.


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