New Innovative Manufacturing CRC gets go-ahead

Long-awaited funding of $40 million for the Innovative
Manufacturing CRC has been announced at today’s CRC Association annual
conference
.

As some had speculated, industry minister Ian Macfarlane
chose the 25th annual CRC Association event to  announce funding for a seven-year term of the IMCRC. The minister also said the CRC
for Optimising Resource Extraction would gain continued funding of $34.45
million to June 30, 2021.

“CRCs 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,” said
Macfarlane at the event
.

The IMCRC was a combined re-bid of the Advanced
Manufacturing and Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRCs
at the suggestion
of the government in February last year.

It will concern knowledge-intensive industries including “additive manufacturing, lightweight robotics and medical devices”.

The length of time taken to release funding for the manufacturing CRC has been criticised by the opposition, with shadow industry minister Kim Carr saying in April that it “should have happened months ago.”

This afternoon, Carr said the minister, “Left the announcements on his desk for eleven and five months respectively, just so he would have some good news to deliver at the annual CRC conference.” 

The
announcement also follows last week’s release of a review
by David Miles of
the CRC program, containing 18 recommendations to more closely link research
projects to “practical and commercial outcomes”. All recommendations were
accepted by the government.

Both CRCs would be aligned with the new Industry Growth Centres, announced last October as part of the Innovation said Macfarlane.

“Along with
Industry Growth Centres which focus on the areas in which Australia has a
competitive edge, CRCs will drive productivity, innovation and collaboration
gains, and identify commercial opportunities to exploit global markets and
generate new jobs,” he said.

The ORE and
IM CRCs headquarters will be in Brisbane and Melbourne respectively.

Image: http://www.choosebrisbane.com.au/