Tropical Savannas CRC > Centre > National CRC Program

National CRC program

CRC stands for Cooperative Research Centre. The CRC program was launched in May 1990 and is administered by the Federal Government's Department of Education, Science & Training.

You can also visit the CRC Association Website (see link below) which represents Cooperative Research Centres on issues of generic importance to CRCs and their operation. It also allows members to share experience and practices as given the diversity of CRCs, and helps to promote awareness of CRCs and the CRC Program.

Cooperative Research Centres

Cooperative Research Centres, generally known as CRCs, bring together researchers from universities, CSIRO and other government laboratories, and private industry or public sector agencies, in long-term collaborative arrangements which support research and development and education activities that achieve real outcomes of national economic and social significance.

The program emphasises the importance of developing collaborative arrangements between researchers and between researchers and research users in the private and public sector in order to maximise the capture of the benefits of publicly funded research through an enhanced process of commercialisation or utilisation by the users of that research.

The program was initiated specifically to:

  • Bring together widely dispersed scientific and technological resources
  • Develop close interaction between researchers and users of research in industry
  • Improve Australia's under-graduate and graduate programs.

According to the program's founders, Australia's wide dispersal of scientific and technological resources (both geographic and institutional) makes it difficult to concentrate researchers and facilities in a targeted manner. It also led to duplicated research efforts.

Secondly, if Australia really wants to make advances in science and technology, research needs to be linked to applications in public and private sectors. Thirdly, the program tries to help scientists and engineers outside the university system to become more involved in education programs, giving students access to their skills and experience.

How CRCs operate

Each Centre has a small core staff, but most researchers are from the Centre's participating agencies. In this way, each agency retains its institutional status, but each Centre can put together collaborative integrated research teams.

Australia's CRCs are involved in six major sectors. All contribute significantly to the national research effort. They are:

  • Agricultural & Rural-Based Manufacturing
  • Environment
  • Information & Communication Technology
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Medical Science & Technology
  • Mining & Energy

The  Tropical Savannas CRC falls into the Environment category and is defined as a public-good CRC.