Government accepts CRC review, welcomes commercial focus

The
Miles Review of the CRC Program has been released, with the government accepting
all of its recommendations, which “put industry front
and centre”.

The review, announced last September, received 251
submissions, and was announced at a time of “significant stakeholder uncertainty”
regarding the CRCs’ future, wrote David Miles in Growth through Innovation and Collaboration: A
Review of the Cooperative Research Centres Programme
.

Its 18 recommendations include discontinuing the public good
qualification, linking the programme with the government’s five Industry Growth
Centres, and creating a new stream for CRC-Projects (designed for SMEs) for “short-term
industry-led research”.

“…[M]ore can be done to ensure the valuable research done by CRCs
is translated into practical and commercial outcomes,” said industry minister Ian Macfarlane in a statement.

After the Miles review was announced, Macfarlane criticised
unnamed centres in the programme which “basically have gone off on their own path”.

“There is going to be a massive transition in Australian
industry over this decade, and CRCs have a role to play in that,” Macfarlane told The Australian following the release yesterday.

“Collaboration and commercialisation are our absolute focus.”

The opposition’s industry spokesman Kim Carr was scathing of the focus
on five sectors, which were identified in the government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda last year.

“[Macfarlane] is
seeking to narrow the focus of collaborative research in this country precisely
when we need to be diversifying our economy and strengthening our innovation
ecosystem to support the jobs of the future,” said Carr.

The shadow industry minister also criticised the “in limbo” status of two CRCs, including the Advanced Manufacturing CRC, which expires at the end of June.

A new CRC Advisory Committee will also be appointed, chaired by
Philip Clark.

Following the report’s release, CEO of the Association Tony Peacock joked on Twitter: ‘Now
that the Miles Review is out can we agree to spell our name CRC Program not
Programme? After all there’s no “me” in CRCs.’ 

The
read the report by David Miles, AM, click here.

Image: http://www.solutionsiq.com/