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Govt brings back CRC research program grants

The Rudd Government together with the minister for innovation, industry, science and research, Senator Kim Carr, are re-launching the CRC Program which aims to bring together private and public sectors in the name of research for our industry.

Developed in 1990 by the Hawke Government, the CRC Program acts as a mouthpiece for end-users who can help plan the direction of the research and monitor its progress to fit their needs.

The CRC Program covers six main industries: manufacturing technology; information and communication technology; mining and energy; agriculture and rural-based manufacturing; environment; and medical science and technology.

Carr has released a new set of guidelines for the re-invigorated CRC Program and has also launched the 11th CRC selection round. Within the guidelines is a promise to provide over $182 million to CRCs to help with their research and analysis.

Applications for research close on 20th March 2009, with the results announced by mid-year.

There are over 20 existing CRCs whose contracts with the government end in 2010, meaning there is potential for more CRCs to step up to the plate if they aren’t successful in the 2009 round.

The last round of CRCs was in 2006, however the previous government allowed the Program to fall by the wayside. Rudd’s government promised to reinstate the program.

“The revitalisation of the CRC program was an election commitment, which I am very pleased to say we have delivered after a comprehensive review of the program conducted by Professor Mary O’Kane,” Carr said.

“The re-instatement of public good as an assessment criterion and the inclusion of the humanities, arts and social sciences will broaden the base of the program.

“The new program responds to the recommendations of the O’Kane review and takes account of stakeholder feedback.

“The revised objectives mean that CRCs will deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits.”

Information sessions will be conducted nationally, or the CRC Program guidelines can be downloaded from the website.

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