$47 million in grants to boost research collaboration in manufacturing

A bionic “eye” that could restore visual and spatial perception for the blind is one of 22 industry-led collaborative research and development projects to share in $47.1 million in funding from the Morrison Government.

Successful projects under round 11 of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative will deliver a range of innovative technologies and create job opportunities in key manufacturing sectors, including in regional Australia. These projects will leverage a further $86 million of cash and in-kind contributions from 95 project partners.

Aria Research Pty Ltd will partner with the University of Sydney and World Access for the Blind to undertake clinical trials of its bionic prosthesis which could provide new levels of independence and autonomy for Australia’s 600,000 vision impaired citizens. 

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the successful projects are outstanding examples of what can be achieved by fostering research collaborations between industry and research organisations.

“These projects will address challenges in our National Manufacturing Priority areas and lead to tangible outcomes that will improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, while growing the economy and creating new jobs,” Minister Porter said.

“CRC-Ps also help strengthen links between research organisations and industry, and support Australian businesses to develop new technologies, products, processes and services for global supply chains.

“Funded projects under the latest round involve 58 Australian companies, including 42 small and medium businesses, and 34 research organisations across the country.”

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said the two regional CRC-Ps in particular will deliver significant benefits for regional communities.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting our regions to help them grow and prosper and drive economic growth, which is exactly what these CRC-Ps will achieve,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Innovation is critical to regional and remote Australian communities, and these projects will boost research and development activities in regional areas and spark economic growth and job creation locally, and contribute to global competitiveness.”

The successful projects this round include:

  • SunPork Pty Ltd (QLD) with a grant of $2,892,374 to eliminate the removal of pig’s tails, improving pig welfare and the sustainability of the pork industry.
  • Rux Energy Pty Ltd (NSW) with a grant of $2,770,000 to develop an efficient hydrogen storage system, a key barrier to the uptake as a new zero-carbon fuel.
  • iOrthotics Pty Ltd (QLD) with a grant of $2,044, 034 to advance the manufacturing of smart orthotics to reduce diabetes related amputations.
  • Seer Medical Pty Ltd (VIC) with a grant of $465,183 to develop its long-term brain monitoring electrodes for an improved patient experience in the diagnosis of epilepsy.

The two regional projects are:

  • DefendTex Research Labs Pty Ltd (VIC) with a grant of $3,000,000 will establish a research centre in Gippsland, Victoria for additive manufacturing of energetic materials to advance manufacturing capability for its rocket fuel additive for space launch.
  • Nourish Ingredients Pty Ltd (NSW) with a grant of $2,829,073 will establish a commercial pilot-scale fermentation facility in Goulburn, NSW to develop lipid fermentation for the local manufacture of future foods.

Since the first round of CRC Projects in 2016, the Government has awarded over $376 million in funding under the CRC-P Program to support 176 projects. 

These projects include over 900 collaborating partners from industry, research, government and community organisations, and are leveraging $853 million in partner contributions.

CRC-Ps can run for up to three years and must have at least two Australian industry partners, including one small or medium sized business, and one Australian research organisation partner.

A list of successful projects is available at: https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/cooperative-research-centres-projects-crcp-grants/crc-projects-selection-round-outcomes.