Cooperative Research Centres in the Life Sciences

What is a CRC?

Co-operative Research Centres were established under a Federal Government initiative to encourage research groups in universities, government laboratories and private industry to collaborate in world class research, and so utilise more effectively the considerable R&D resources available to Australian businesses.

Agriculture and Rural Based Manufacturing
CRC for Plant Science
The Centre will exploit plant biotechnology to develop and apply plant molecular, cellular and physiological research and training to the agri-food and fibre industries and public sector.
CRC for Tropical Pest Management
The Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management is targeting the crucial issues involved in designing, developing, and implementing improved pest management strategies. This is achieved through better understanding, integration and management of specific techniques and practices such as biocontrol, cultural practices, physical methods, baits and attractants, and new chemical and biological insecticides.
CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
The CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry was established in 1991 to enhance the productivity and sustainability of temperate hardwood forestry through basic and innovative research. Its headquarters are in Hobart.
CRC for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture
Researchers at the CRC for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) study the intriguing biology and chemistry of legumes and the economics of how legumes benefit farming systems.
CRC for Tropical Plant Pathology
The Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology is bringing expert help to crop and pasture-based industries in their battle against plant diseases. Its goals are to develop improved methods for breeding for disease resisitance and detection of disease-causing agents and the identification of novel genes for disease resistance. The development of better disease management strategies and new disease-resistant plant varieties are the anticipated results of this research.
CRC for Hardwood Fibre and Paper Science
The CRC for Hardwood and Paper Science was formed in 1992 as a co-operative effort between three research institutions and the Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Federation of Australia. It aims to harness the best scientific and technical expertise to build up the internationally competitive position of the Australian pulp and paper industry and to create new commercial opportunities. Research focuses on the rapid and effective characterisation of pulpwood quality and the paper-making potential of plantation hardwoods.
CRC for Viticulture
The Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture (CRCV) will extend Australia's lead in international grape production and processing technology by focussing the nation's collective research, extension and education efforts in viticulture for dried fruits, table grapes and wine grapes - with a view to producing higher quality, more efficiently grown and contaminant free grapes for all purposes.
CRC for Premium Quality Wool
The CRC for Premium Quality Wool (Wool CRC) began operations in July 1993 with nodes in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Its aim is to improve the quality and competitive position of Australian wool and wool products in the world textile fibre market. The centre works closely with the International Wool Secretariat to ensure that the research and development activities are market driven and relevant to the business of improving product quality at all stages of the wool business system.
CRC for the Cattle and Beef Industry (Meat Quality)
The CRC for the Cattle and Beef Industry was established in 1993 to improve the quality and consistency of Australian beef to match the exacting requirements of new customers in Asia and to better cater for Australian diets. The CRC is also addressing constraints to the beef industry arising from community concerns about animal health and welfare and waste management.
CRC for Aquaculture
The CRC for Aquaculture commenced in 1993. It is one of the largest CRCs in terms of numbers of participants and their geographic spread (from Darwin to Hobart to Adelaide). There are six tertiary institutions, AIMS, CSIRO Fisheries, four State Government Fisheries and Northern Territory Fisheries, and approximately 20 industry partners. The industry partners cover most of the range of Australian aquaculture industries, but the cultured pearl industry is under-represented in terms of its economic value. The Director, Dr Peter Montague, is based at University of Technology, Sydney, which is central to the widespread participants of this CRC.
CRC for Sustainable Cotton Production
The mission of the CRC for Sustainable Cotton Production is to derive and implement strategies to ensure the continued survival and success of the Australian cotton industry and also assist with:coordination of cotton research, and training next generation of research and extension personnel.
CRC for Food Industry Innovation
The mission of the Cooperative Research Centre for Food Industry Innovation is to provide a coordinated research and development base for the generation of improved and novel natural food ingredients, principally from microorganisms.
CRC for Sustainable Sugar Production
The CRC for Sustainable Sugar Production was established in 1995 to foster an internationally competitive and environmentally sustainable Australian sugar industry. Amongst its activities, the CRC is conducting research on management options for alternative planting, harvesting and ratooning schedules to improve industry profitability.
CRC for Weed Management Systems
The Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems (CWMS) officially began life on July 1, 1995. Based at the Waite Campus of The University of Adelaide with Associate Professor Steve Powles at the head, the Centre aims to bring together expertise in weed management. This incorporates research areas such as biological control, herbicide technology, herbicide resistance, vegetation management, bioherbicides, population and economic modelling, decision support, weed ecology and population dynamics.
CRC for Quality Wheat Products and Processes
The CRC for Quality Wheat Products and Processes, established in July 1995, combines the research strengths of 12 participants to assist the Australian wheat industry develop high-quality wheats. The administrative headquarters are based at the Bread Research Institute in Sydney and projects are being undertaken at 14 different locations.
CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control
All aspects of the waste management hierarchy, from waste minimisation through to treatment and disposal, are the research focus of the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control. The CRC, which began life as a joint venture, became an incorporated company limited by guarantee in July 1992. Particular emphasis is placed on waste management practices that could assist Australian industry.
CRC for Soil and Land Management
The CRC for Soil & Land Management provides scientifically sound technologies to manage soil fertility and erosion in agriculture, remediation of contaminated urban and industrial land, the impact of agricultural practices on land, water and air quality, and clean food standards.
CRC for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment
What is the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in global climate change? The Cooperative Research Centre for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment (Antarctic CRC) based in Hobart, Australia, is addressing this and other questions by conducting research on the links between the oceans, the sea ice, the atmosphere, and the continental ice-sheet. Field investigations are used to study these various components with emphasis on how they change over time. Atmosphere-ice-ocean processes are modelled by supercomputer in order to understand and predict climate change. The focus is on both short and long-term climate change with research programs in the following areas: ocean processes; sea ice; ice sheet; polar atmosphere and weather; marine sediments; deep ice cores; and, microbial processes in the environment.
CRC for Catchment Hydrology
The Centre brings together skills and resources to address important issues in land and water management in Australia.
The Centre addresses major issues in land and water management. Its core research programs cover: Catchment Water and Salt Balance; Waterway Management and Erosion Control; Urban Hydrology; and Flood Hydrology.
In addition, its interaction with industry includes programs for: Education and Training; and Technology Transfer and Training.
CRC for Biological Control of Vertebrate Pest Populations
CRC for Ecologically Sustainable Development of the Great Barrier Reef
The objective of the CRC for Ecologically Sustainable Development of the Great Barrier Reef is to undertake an integrated program of applied research and development, training and extension aimed at enhancing the viability of, and expanding sustainable Reef-based industries and economic activity, with particular emphasis on tourism, and providing an improved scientific basis for Reef management and regulatory decision making.
CRC for Freshwater Ecology
The CRC for Freshwater Ecology was established in July 1993 to develop the ecological basis for the sustainable management of surface waters in Australian temperate regions. It brings together major limnological research groups in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
CRC for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology
The Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology (CRC SHM) was established in July, 1993 under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centres Program. The centre brings together Monash University, the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO Divisions of Atmospheric Research and Applied Physics and Cray Research (Australia) Pty Ltd in a collaborative program of meteorological research and education. The CRC is one of the principal centres in Australia for research and graduate training in the meteorological sciences.
CRC for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management
The Co-operative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology & Management (CRC TREM) is establishing a knowledge base to enable good management of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and of adjacent forests in perpetuity. This involves both establishing what is here and the physical and biological processes working in tropical rainforest. Findings from this program should also benefit management of other tropical rainforests. Most research within the Australian tropical rainforest has been conducted by the institutions which have entered the CRC TREM.
CRC for the Sustainable Development of Tropical Savannas
CRC for Conservation and Management of Marsupials
The CRC for Conservation and Management of Marsupials will undertake research and education to enhance the conservation of endangered marsupials and to develop acceptable methods for the humane management of problem populations.
CRC for Water Quality and Treatment
The CRC for Water Quality and Treatment was established in 1995, bringing together the main players in the Australian R&D sector which have a specific focus on drinking water supply. The CRC is concerned with the water cycle which commences at the catchment reservoir and finishes at the consumer's tap, ie. the cost-effective provision of safe drinking water.
Medical Science and Technology
CRC for Tissue Growth and Repair
The Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Tissue Growth and Repair, was established in 1991, to research further into the development and use of novel growth factors and other biologically active agents in the growth and repair of human and animal tissues.
CRC for Cellular Growth Factors
The CRC for Cellular Growth Factors was established in July 1991 to increase the chance of success of Australian research into Cellular Growth Factors, by integrating the unique and specialised skills of a number of leading groups in this field of research. These skills include in vitro and in vivo biology, molecular biology, protein purification, protein structure determination, molecular modelling and clinical trials.
CRC for Eye Research and Technology (and here)
The CRC for Eye Research and Technology was established in 1991 to develop better ways of correcting vision. It is estimated that two-thirds of the world's population requires some form of vision correction. The CRC aims to establish a research base from which an export industry can develop and expand to supply this market.
CRC for Biopharmaceutical Research
The primary aim of the Biopharmaceutical Research CRC is to provide a coordinated research base to aid the development of the Australian biopharmaceutical industry. To achieve this goal, the Centre functions as a national centre for both the development of new internationally competitive biopharmaceutical products, and the education of researchers in the combination of biopharmaceutical research techniques and their integration with the industrial goals necessary to develop products for the world market.
CRC for Cochlear Implant, Speech and Hearing Research
The CRC for Cochlear Implant, Speech and Hearing Research was established in July 1992. It brings together internationally recognised Australian hearing research groups and leading biomedical companies to develop communication devices for the hundreds of thousands of persons worldwide who suffer from severe hearing disability.
CRC for Cardiac Technology (or here)
The CRC for Cardiac Technology was established in 1992 to create a world-class, interdisciplinary research environment for the study of coronary heart disease, the major killer of Australians. It aims to commercialise the therapeutic methods, whether pharmaceutical or mechanical, resulting from that research.
CRC for Vaccine Technology (and here)
The CRC for Vaccine Technology was established in July 1993. It brings together six partners who seek to develop generic technologies for the design of future vaccines, to help industry apply these strategies to specific medical and veterinary vaccines and to provide training to strengthen Australia's vaccine industry. The centre is based in Queensland with a partner in Sydney and four partners in Melbourne.
CRC for Diagnostic Technologies
The CRC for Diagnostic Technologies is an Australian Cooperative Research Centre which commenced operation on July 1, 1995. A consortium of academic partners and members of the Australian Diagnostics Manufacturers Association (ADMA), the Centre is based at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. The Centre aims to develop innovative generic diagnostic technologies, specific diagnostic products and processes that are highly competitive in the international market place, and to provide the first focus in the Asia-Pacific region for education and training in diagnostic technologies.

This information was prepared by Dianne Chambers for UniServe*Science. Please contact me for any corrections or additions.