Three new CRCs have earned funding under the Cooperative Research Centre Program’s round 22, with a total federal government investment of $158 million and estimated total investment of $664.6 million over their lifespans.
The newly-backed CRCs are for Digital Finance, Heavy Industry Low Carbon Transition, and Marine Bioproducts.
The CRC Program is in its 30th year. CRCs usually run for seven years, and tackle industry projects through collaborative research and innovation between private and public-funded members.
“For every dollar invested by government in collaborative research through the program, some three times the value is returned, generating more than $14 billion in direct economic benefits to the nation from CRC produced technologies, products and processes since the program was founded,” said CRC Association CEO Jane O’Dwyer.
“Our newest CRCs give Australia a boost in tackling some of the most crucial transitions to a low carbon future, growing new marine bioproducts industries and the digital transformation of financial markets. They represent the absolute best of research and industry working together.”
The Marine Bioproducts CRC bid unsuccessfully through round 20 in 2018, before gaining support this time around.
“We took time to review the feedback…to develop a focussed and much-improved bid,” said MB-CRC Chair, John Gunn.
The successful bid focusses on “an emerging and ambitious industry sector,” and links primary producers, manufacturers and researchers. Examples of marine bioproducts include nutraceuticals, plant-based proteins, and bioplastics.
The Heavy Industry Low Carbon Transition CRC’s vision is credited to University of Adelaide’s Centre for Energy Technology (CET) which recently released its HiTemp Outlook #2 report on decarbonising heavy industries.
CET’s Director Professor Gus Nathan is Research Director of the HILT CRC.
“The CRC framework allows all partners to lower the costs and risk of undertaking the low-carbon transition,” said Nathan in a statement.
“Without it, the investment would [be] beyond the capacity of any one industry group to bear alone.”
The Digital Finance CRC’s focus is “the next transformation of the financial markets” which would deliver a “universal digitisation of all assets so they can be traded and exchanged directly and in real-time.”
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