The Review of the Cooperative Research Centres has been released.
The Minister for Industry and Science has stated that the recommendations will be adopted and his media release provides some additional information, including the members of the new advisory committee:
Summary of Recommendations
- Continue the program, but refocus it towards industry only.
- The public good stream introduced in June 2013 should be discontinued.
- Industry Growth Centre sectors are the priority, but all industry sectors can apply for funding.
- Create a new CRC project stream for smaller collaborations, shorter duration (no more than three years, with no extensions), more specific research requirements, with a call for applications three times a year. This stream is expected to benefit SMEs in particular.
- The existing CRC funding stream should have an application round once a year and the maximum duration of a CRC should be 10 years with no extensions.
- Other Australian Government Departments should use the model for research to meet their policy needs and provide the core funding, with the CRC administered by the Department of Industry and Science to reduce costs (as is the case with the current Defence Materials Technology Centre).
- Establish a new smaller advisory committee – the Minister’s media release states that ‘Mr Philip Clark AM will Chair the committee, working with Dr Megan Clark AC, Dr Michele Allan and Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb AC’. It is unclear if more members are still being considered, but the review recommends no more than nine members in total.
- Existing CRCs to be reviewed by the new Committee to see if they are delivering against their objectives, and if not, they should be discontinued.
- Streamline application and reporting processes.
- All CRCs should be a company limited by guarantee (i.e. no flexibility in governance models) and use best practice IP arrangements.
Further information about the implementation of the CRC Review recommendations and details about future CRC rounds will be distributed as they are available.