Cooperative Research Centre

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Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) are an Australian Federal Government program and are key bodies for Australian scientific research. The Cooperative Research Centres Programme was established in 1990 to enhance Australia's industrial, commercial and economic growth through the development of sustained, user-driven, cooperative public-private research centres that achieve high levels of outcomes in adoption and commercialisation. The program emphasises the importance of collaborative arrangements to maximise the benefits of research through an enhanced process of utilisation, commercialisation and technology transfer. It also has a strong education component with a focus on producing graduates with skills relevant to industry needs. Most CRCs offer scholarships for postgraduate students.[1]

The CRC Programme is administered by the Commonwealth Department of Industry and Science.[2]

Reviews of the Cooperative Research Programme have been regularly undertaken. In 2012, an independent impact study found CRCs generated a net economic benefit of $7.5 billion from 1991 - 2017.[3] This equates to an annual contribution of $278 million, or around 0.03 percentage points to GDP.[3]

The Cooperative Research Centre Association (CRCA), established on 1 December 1994, to promote the CRC program while also acting a conduit for information sharing and learning between CRCs.[4] Over time the role has evolved to the extent that today the CRCA is also recognised as the principal non-Government advocate of the CRC Program.[5]

History of the CRC program[edit]

Since the commencement of the CRC Programme in 1991 there have been 14 selection rounds.[6] 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 the review of the Programme in 2008, the 11th and 12th Selection rounds were both held in 2009. Selection rounds are now annual.[6]

Results of CRC funding rounds can be found at the CRC online directory.

A number of websites of previously funded CRCs are archived in perpetuity on the National Library of Australia's Trove online library database aggregator.


  • The CRC for Oral Health Science produced the Tooth Mousse Plus product which remineralises tooth enamel, reducing dental decay.[7] Tooth Mousse Plus is now sold in over 50 countries.[7]
  • The Hearing CRC produced the Cochlear Hybrid system which has restored hearing to over 140,000 hearing impaired adults and children worldwide[8]
  • The Vision CRC developed the O2Optix and Night & Day(r) contact lenses, generating over $10 million per year in royalties.[9]
  • The Australian Biosecurity CRC produced a real-time genetic diagnostic test which is used for equine influenza. The test led to Australia eradicating equine influenza, a world first.[10]
  • The Sheep CRC produced the Precision Sheep Management System, which changed management of sheep flocks. It is estimated this system will increase sheep industry profits by $82 million per year.[11]
  • The Pork CRC developed a vaccine against the disease pleuropneumonia, reducing pig deaths and disease from the bacteria Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.[10]
  • The Molecular Plant Breeding CRC developed Cross Outcome Prediction technology for predicting the success of wheat breeding. The technology reduces the time taken to determine success of wheat breeding from 15 years to just months.[12]
  • The CRC for Technology Enabled Capital Markets produced the world's first real time health fraud detection program, which stands to save the health industry $720 million per year.[13]
  • The CRCSIIB developed green technology to waterproof cardboard. The plant-based waterproof compound is 100% recyclable and 100% effective.[14]
  • The Beef CRC produced two new killed vaccines against Pasteurella and pestivirus which cause bovine respiratory disease (BRD), both firsts for Australia.[15]

CRC education success stories[edit]

  • The CRC program is estimated to have supported 4.400 doctorate and master's degrees by research.[16]
  • The value of CRC education outcomes is estimated to be a total of $163 million.[16]
  • The Poultry CRC produced an information sharing service which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation praised for increasing interest in poultry production.[10]
  • The CRC for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management produced the first written history of resource management by the Yalanji people, written in both English and Yalanji language.[13]
  • The Molecular Plant Breeding CRC, in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics developed "Get into Genes", an education program about the role of gene technology in agriculture. Over 5000 high school students in South Australia and Victoria have participated in program.
  • Each year the CRC programme supports around 2000 Australian researchers and more than 1000 PhD students.[17]
  • Over 150 CRC programme supported post-graduate students graduate each year.[17]

List of CRCs[edit]

The CRC Program provides funding to CRCs across six industry sectors: manufacturing technology, information and communication technology, mining and energy, agriculture and rural-based manufacturing, environment and medical science and technology

A current directory of CRC Association members is maintained by the CRCA.

Manufacturing technology[edit]



Information and communication technology[edit]

Mining and energy[edit]

Agriculture and rural-based manufacturing[edit]


Medical science and technology[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

See also[edit]

  • NICTA - Australia's national information and communication technology research centre
  • CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°16′54.54″S 149°08′01.91″E / 35.2818167°S 149.1338639°E / -35.2818167; 149.1338639