What is a CRC

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program is a federally funded program which supports Australian industries’ ability to compete and produce. This is achieved by helping industry to partner with the research sector to solve industry-identified problems in 2 ways:

  • CRC grants support medium to long-term industry-led collaborative research, for up to 10 years
  • CRC Projects (CRC-P) grants support short term, industry-led collaborative research, for up to 3 years

CRC funding

Medium to long-term funding

CRC grants offer co-funding for industry-led research. CRCs must:

  • be a medium to long-term industry-led collaborative research program
  • aim to solve industry identified problems and improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries
  • include an industry-focused education and training program, including a PhD program that builds capability and capacity
  • increase research and development (R&D) capacity in small to medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • encourage industry take up of research

A CRC collaboration must also include at least 1 Australian business, and 1 Australian research organisation.

This was the basis for funding the sheep and wool CRC’s from 1993-2020.

Find out what a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is, what it does, and how the CRC network brings knowledge together.

About the CRC for Premium Quality Wool

The Parties involved in this, the first wool and sheep industry CRC, were:

  • CSIRO through the Divisions of Animal Production (DAP) and Textile and Fibre Technology;
  • Agriculture Western Australia (AgWA);
  • The Woolmark Company through the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation (AWRAP);
  • The University of Adelaide (UA);
  • University of New England (UNE);
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW); and
  • University of Western Australia (UWA).

The CRC operated from 1993- 2000.

A number of other organisations or companies were involved in the activities of the CRC as Supporting Parties. Included in this category were:

  • NSW Agriculture (NSW Ag);
  • The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Ltd; and
  • the Australian Wool Testing Authority Ltd (AWTA Ltd).

The New South Wales and Western Australian State Governments and the George Aitken Pastoral Research Trust also made substantial cash grants for capital equipment purchases specifically related to the activities of the CRC.

Programs developed by the CRC were:

  • Quantitative Genetics;
  • Wool Strength;
  • Fibre Structure;
  • Education Program; and
  • Sheep Transgenesis.

The CRC’s education program was novel for the period. It consisted of a series of lectures delivered to dispersed universities via a video link. The PowerPoint presentations used in these lectures are all available on Woolwise.

About the Sheep CRC
(CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation)

Over 19 years (2001-2020) and three iterations, the Sheep CRC fostered collaborations between researchers and industry to transform Australia’s sheep industry to consistently deliver high quality wool and meat products. Its national education and training programs are ensuring a healthy future for the industry.

Australian Wool Education Trust and the Sheep CRC’s

The Australian Wool Education Trust was established during the term of the CRC for Premium Quality Wool and funded the development of the Woolwise website, the platform via which the CRC publicised its activities and provided access to its educational output on a fee paying basis. At the conclusion of the CRC the Trust resumed ownership of the website and its contents. The educational materials, consisting largely of PowerPoint presentations and associated notes, were then made available for free to all interested parties.

The Trust continued its association with the Australian Sheep CRC 1, contributing to the funding of the Wool and Sheep educational materials developed by the CRC. At the end of this CRC ownership of all its educational materials was assigned to the Trust, on condition that it continue to fund their delivery. To this end the Trust has licensed the materials to the University of New England, and continues to subsidise their delivery.

In March 2020 the final Sheep CRC was wound up after a final conference in Dubbo, NSW, in March 2020.