Manufacturing and minerals CRCs to receive $74m boost

Australia’s innovative manufacturing sector is set to receive a boost after the Government announced yesterday it will provide $74m in funding for two Cooperative Research Centres (CRC).

The new CRC for Innovative Manufacturing (IM CRC) will receive $40m over seven years to assist Australian manufacturers to transition to high-value internationally competitive manufacturing.

The existing CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) will receive $34.45m to help improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of mineral extraction until June 30, 2021.

The Government is investing more than $731m over five years for the Cooperative Research Centres, including the already established Advanced Manufacturing CRC (AMCRC), to continue their diverse range of research.

Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, highlighted the importance of CRC’s in driving greater collaboration between industry and research, while speaking at yesterday’s CRC Association annual conference in Canberra.

“CRC’s are a highly successful way of bringing industry and research organisations together to apply the latest research knowledge to the real-world problems facing industry,” he said.

“More than 60 organisations, including multi-nationals, SMEs and peak industry bodies, will be involved in these CRC’s, they will bring together a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as financial support to increase productivity in their sectors.

“The CRC’s will work closely with the new Industry Growth Centres to address common goals and priorities, ensuring an integrated approach to overcoming challenges and developing market opportunities for local businesses.”

The Chairman of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, John Pollaers, welcomed the Government’s funding boost for the CRC’s.

“The world is moving fast, adopting new technologies and manufacturing processes and creating new industries,” he said.

“Along with the Government’s Growth Centre strategy, we see this announcement as a major step in growing Australia’s knowledge future, advanced automation, intelligent manufacturing, the use of embedded sensors and the linkage of sensors to the internet – all of these things open the door to game changing possibilities.”

Research Programs of the IM-CRC embrace the following:

Program 1: Additive Manufacturing Processes
Program 2: Automated & Assistive Technologies
Program 3: High Value Product Development
Program 4: Industry Transformation

The Research Programs have been designed to appeal to a range of manufacturing SMEs to benefit from small or large development projects requiring input from Australia’s leading universities and the CSIRO.

More funding through Manufacturing Transition Program

Today’s funding announcement for the CRC’s follows last week’s Commonwealth Government announcement of which projects would gain funding under its $50m Manufacturing Transition Program.

A total of 19 businesses will receive between $1m and $5m to improve their competiveness by investing in new capital equipment and plant improvements.