Industry-led research to support innovative manufacturing is being boosted by the Australian Government.

Cooperative Research Centres are at the forefront of developing new technologies, products and services, producing many notable successes throughout 25 years of the program’s operation.

These have included advancements to Cochlear hearing technology, research aimed at reducing the impacts of invasive species, making cell therapy more accessible and affordable, and measures to build a more resilient and profitable dairy industry.

The Government is funding a new CRC for Innovative Manufacturing (IM CRC). It will receive $40 million over seven years to 30 June 2022 to assist Australian manufacturers to transition to high-value internationally competitive manufacturing.

This new CRC will be important to Australia’s growing focus on lifting rates of collaboration between industry and research. 

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.

The Government accepted the recommendations of a recent review of the CRC Program. Refining the program ensures CRCs play an enhanced role in connecting researchers with industry; ensuring researches is outcomes-focussed and addressing the needs of businesses.

CRCs will align their collaborative research with the outputs of the new Industry Growth Centres.

Multi-nationals, SMEs and peak industry bodies, will be involved with the Innovative Manufacturing CRC. They will bring together a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as financial support, to increase productivity.

The CRCs will work closely with the relevant Growth Centres to address common goals and priorities, ensuring an integrated approach to overcoming challenges and developing market opportunities for local businesses.

The $225 million initiative is central to the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda. It articulates the Government’s desire to better translate research into commercial outcomes.

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.

The IM CRC, headquartered in Melbourne, will be established to develop knowledge-intensive competitive industries in areas of global growth, including additive manufacturing, lightweight robotics and medical devices.

The CRC will work with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to assist Australian manufacturers to transition from traditional manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, internationally-competitive activities.

The Government is investing more than $731 million over five years for the CRCs to continue their diverse range of research.

Since 1991, the Government has committed more than $4 billion in funding to the CRC Programme and supported over 200 CRCs.

Industry and science must work together to boost commercial outcomes, improve productivity and drive economic growth.

The Government has built on this theme since the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda was launched last October.

As part of an overall strategic approach to make better use of publicly funded research, all industry knowledge priorities will align with Australia’s science and research priorities endorsed by the Commonwealth Science Council.

In addition, the recently announced CRC for Developing Northern Australia will establish strong links with Industry Growth Centres, sharing knowledge, experience and resources to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Australian industries in the north.

The Government has made a significant investment in the future prosperity of Australia through the Industry Growth Centres and the Cooperative Research Centres.

We will continue to ensure our researchers and businesses work together to help build industries which are sustainable into the future.



Ian Macfarlane

Minister for Industry and Science


Related news & editorials

  1. Senator Cash
    by      In
    For over 20 years, Industry Update magazine has been a valuable voice for Australia’s manufacturing sector, and I congratulate IU on reaching its 100th edition.
    This achievement is a timely milestone because Australia’s manufacturing sector is currently experiencing its longest consecutive run of... Read More
  2. Kim Carr
    by      In
    An odd thing about public discussion of manufacturing in Australia is how often we have to remind people why it is important.
    Industry Update and its readers understand why manufacturing matters, of course, and I congratulate IU, as it celebrates its 100th edition, for its staunch defence of the... Read More
  3. Senator Cash
    by      In
    In October, the last Australian-made Toyota and Holden cars rolled off the assembly line at Altona and Elizabeth. For thousands of workers who have made Australian cars – and the families and communities that have supported them – this was undoubtedly an emotional time.
    The International President... Read More
  4. Senator Kim Carr
    by      In
    Sovereign capability in an industry doesn’t emerge out of a vacuum, nor does it grow on a tree.
    It is just empty rhetoric to rely on the concept of natural advantage. Sovereign capability needs to be built, and then maintained, often over a long period of time. Acquiring this capability requires... Read More