We are constantly surprised by the lack of time provided to potential entrants to new programmes to prepare applications. The first round of CRC projects program was announced on http://www.business.gov.au/news-and-updates/News-and-features/Pages/interested-in-driving-australias-research-and-innovation.aspx on 10th February – ten days after the applications opened and only five weeks before applications close. CRC Project selection rounds could be held up to three times per year – so keep an eye on the business.gov.au website for upcoming rounds if you have a development concept or collaborative business project in mind.
Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) programme has been in existence since 1990 offering the possibility of government funds to match or add to your investment. This programme is aimed at fairly large, medium to long term, projects which involve research and development of commercial products or solutions.
The funding is part of a competitive programme for group ventures which involve at least one Australian commercial/industry entity and one research organisation or tertiary education establishment.
The new CRC projects programme is similarly framed but aimed at short term (up to three years) projects for smaller collaborative groups of at least two Australian industry entities; including at least one SME – under 200 employees; and one research organisation. The programme can offer matching or top up funds of up to $3m for your project.
Funding is for:-
(a) Salaries for researchers and support staff, fellowships and student stipends, and direct salary on-costs
(b) Direct support costs of research and translation
(c) Indirect support costs of research and translation
(d) I.P. Costs
(e) Capital Items, such as equipment, but not to purchase or pay for the construction of facilities such as buildings, laboratories etc.
The new CRC projects funding aims to benefit Small to medium entities and increase their capacity to grow and adapt in changing markets.
The goal of both programmes is to:-
· Support science, research, and commercialisation
· Enable growth and productivity for globally competitive industries and
· Foster cross-pollination between industry entities and research organisations e.g. Industry-focused education and training (internships and secondments), increased research skills in industry, and increased industry capability in research and tertiary education establishments
Projects supported would be those which aim to develop a product, service or process that will deliver innovative products or provide solutions to industry problems for industry and deliver tangible outcomes.
Prioritised for funding are the governments nine Science and Research Priorities. These sectors are listed below with hyperlinks to fact sheets:-
Mining, medical and pharmaceuticals are other areas in which the government seeks to aid growth.
As the scheme is competitive good, clear and concise applications which meet the eligibility criteria and outline expected commercial or problem-solving outcomes are essential.
Key criteria which need to be addressed in an application include:-
· Industry outcomes – commercial or problem-solving
· Research activities/project and methodology
· Governance and management capability – appropriate expertise in your consortium e.g. project management, business management, commercialisation management
· Proposed education arrangements and outcomes
· Why government funds are required
· Expected national benefits
The first two points above are key with a 60% evaluation weighting
Cooperative Research Centres has a two stage application process including an interview
CRC Projects has a single stage application process and a shorter review period
Matching investment in cash or kind (e.g. resources, personnel) is the minimum requirement. Higher levels of company investment levels in projects makes application more competitive
Consortia are encouraged to work with one of the six (not-for-profit) growth centres to develop research outcomes.
Applications closing soon:-
· CRCs Stage One applications for the 18th Funding Round close 31 March 2016 and successful CRCs will commence 1 January 2017
· CRC-Projects (CRC-Ps) applications close 17 March 2016 and successful bid projects are expected to start 1 July 2016
Applications are via smart-form online.
A single budget covers both schemes with no cap on funding for CRC’s and $3m cap for CRC projects but all applications will be competing for available funds.
Funding payments are quarterly in arrears and linked to agreed milestones and KPI’s.
Definitions from Programme Guidelines:-
Industry Entity means an entity where the majority of its revenue is not derived from any government, capable of deploying research outputs in a commercial context; excluding entities where the primary function is administrative or to provide support services to a CRC-P
Research Organisation must be publicly funded higher education providers or government departments or agencies which undertake publicly funded research.
Mob: 0413 647 664
NSW Head Office
Tel: (02) 8219 4900
PO Box 111, Rosebery NSW 1445
Tel: (03) 9629 7772