Key dates

  • 2 October 2017 – Expressions of interest open
  • 24 October 2017 5:00 pm AEST – Questions regarding expressions of interest close
  • 31 October 2017 5:00 pm AEST – Expressions of interest close

Overview

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) will be investing $75m of Commonwealth funds over the next ten years to support industry-led research collaborations. The funding will develop new technologies, products and services which address industry issues in Northern Australia within three areas:

  1. Agriculture and food
    Removing barriers and improving supply and value chains for new and existing northern agricultural industries.
  2. Tropical health service delivery
    Identifying new models and approaches, early detection, health seeking behaviour and mental health.
  3. Traditional Owner led business development
    Identifying new models and approaches and building an industry ready skilled workforce in the fields of agriculture, food and/or health industries.

Funding

The CRCNA has the capacity to commit up to $8 million in this first funding call and funding can only be committed for three years (applicants can re-apply in later rounds).

Project participants must at least match the amount of grant funding sought through cash and/or in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions are non-cash resources provided by a participant to conduct the activities of the project. They may be staff or non-staff resources.

Funding can be used to support the costs of:

  • research
  • salaries
  • student placements
  • commercialisation
  • capital items, such as equipment.

Funding cannot be used for activities or projects currently or previously financed through any other funding scheme.

Focus

The CRCNA has identified the following focus areas for round one of funding.

  1. Strategic trade and relationship building
    • Seek alignment with DFAT, AUSTRADE, State/NT Dept. Trade Offices priorities and agendas.
    • Strengthen new or immature industries with little or no existing market access capabilities.
  2. Major policy challenges
    • Identify policy/regulatory barriers to investment including barriers related to water, energy, enabling infrastructure and tenure.
    • Seek alignment with Ministerial Forum including Qld, WA, NT and Commonwealth, Health Roundtable, ONA (COAG), NAIF, Northern RDA Alliance and other pan-northern sectoral priorities.
    • Collate and present data in a meaningful form to enable the development of strategies for suitable for the resolution of major policy issues and regulatory harmonisation.
  3. Sector led growth opportunities
    • Support the export of knowledge, skills, technology and expertise that have been developed and perfected within Australia.
    • Include service industries to agriculture, food and health.
  4. Regional/area based projects
    • Support place-based resource and development assessments for priority regions within Northern Australia that help to establish new industries or to grow or improve existing industries.
    • Align with the development priority and investment agendas of the Australian, QLD, WA and NT Governments and RDAs.
  5. Strategic innovation
    • Support the utilisation and development of emerging digital technology.
    • Support the utilisation and development of applied robotics.
    • Support other strategic innovations that will lift human and community capacity.

In the context of the focus for the 2017/18 funding call, the CRCNA Board identified research priorities that are preventing further investment and development in Northern Australia within each of the three funding themes (Appendix 1).

The CRCNA is seeking projects that address or remove the most strategic barriers at different and across all scales. Projects which cut across multiple themes and/or address multiple key strategic issues will be more likely to receive CRCNA investment.

Expressions of interest

Expressions of interest can be made by industry, research, business and community sectors.

The CRCNA is seeking projects which are industry led and address issues specifically related to Northern Australia.

Expressions of interest must address one or more of the following critical research questions:

Agriculture and food

In the context of removing barriers and improving supply and value chains for new and existing Northern agricultural industries, what novel new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes does your research deliver to address the CRCNA research priorities for 2017/18?

Tropical health service delivery

In the context of removing barriers and identifying new models and approaches to early detection, improved health seeking behaviour, mental health and mental health first aid, what novel new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes does your research deliver to address the CRCNA research priorities for 2017/18?

Traditional Owner led business development

In the context of removing barriers and identifying new models and approaches of developing Traditional Owner led business development and building an industry ready skilled workforce in agriculture, food and/or health, what novel new approaches, solutions, technologies, innovations or knowledge processes does your research deliver to address the CRCNA research priorities for 2017/18?

Expressions of interest should demonstrate collaboration between at least two partners within industry, communities, research organisations, all northern jurisdictions and international partners in a collaborative industry-led RD&E ventures.

Eligibility

  • Project must have at least one partner representing industry (or the end user where appropriate).
  • All project partners must become a member of the CRCNA.
  • Project must fit within one (or more) of the three investment themes:
    • Agriculture and food
    • Tropical health service delivery
    • Traditional Owner led business development in agriculture, food and/or health industries. 

Merit criteria

Applications will be assessed through a competitive, merit based process.

Applications must:

  • be able to measurably demonstrate how their project will impact on one or more of the CRCNA’s strategic objectives:
    1. Increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Northern Australia
    2. Increased investment in Northern Australia
    3. Improved (supply chain) efficiencies in Northern Australia
    4. Generation of new jobs in Northern Australia to assist population growth
    5. Improved capabilities and wellbeing of the Northern Australian community.
  • fit within the 2017/18 focus areas and tackles the most strategic barriers facing the identified focus areas
  • demonstrate why the project should be CRCNA funded and not be funded by other related programs (e.g. State and NT agencies, RD&E Corporations, etc)
  • include significant co-investment of cash and in-kind
  • clearly demonstrate how the project is supported by industry as a necessary investment (has demonstrable links to other industry and/or Government strategic plans and priorities)
  • have a clear pathway to impact approach
  • demonstrate a strong return on investment.

How to apply

  1. Complete the expression of interest form – available on the CRCNA website from 2 October 2017.
  2. Submit your expressions of interest prior to 31 October 2017 at 5:00 pm AEST.

The CRCNA Board will consider each application on its merit and applications with potential will continue through to the next stage of the process.

Appendix 1

Research priorities

Agriculture and food

  • Address market access barriers and development export opportunities (small and medium enterprises to large corporates).
  • Address major policy and/or regulatory constraints.
  • Have an element that enables workforce development and retention.
  • Create or improve supply chain efficiencies and/or enabling infrastructure.
  • Address issues relating to an industry’s social license to operate.
  • Undertake strategic resource assessment or resolve competing resource uses.
  • Underpin the sustainability of an industry, region or community.
  • Bring new innovation to addressing biosecurity issues.
  • Systemically resolve northern production, productivity or profitability issues.
  • Are focused on innovation and new technologies that will be game changers in agriculture and food production systems.

Tropical health service delivery

  • Have an element that assists in the development of the northern Australian workforce.
  • Promote early detection, health seeking behaviours and mental health services.
  • Assist with prospectus building, policy reform and regional development.
  • Assist with the development of health service delivery sectors including the development of new markets (including export).
  • Are focused innovative logistics, business models and service delivery.
  • Are focused on strategic breakthroughs in health sciences, technologies and products of importance to northern Australia.

Traditional Owner led business development in the fields of agriculture, food and/or health industries

  • Have an element that assists in the development of an industry ready skilled workforce.
  • Build the foundational capacities of Traditional Owners, businesses and institutions.
  • Are Indigenous sector development and prospectus building projects.
  • Relate to ecosystem services sector development.
  • Address key National and/or State policy constraints limiting Indigenous led approaches to development.
  • Support better models for non-Indigenous development interests partnering with Traditional Owners and communities.
  • Deliver knowledge to support Indigenous landholders.
  • Improve frameworks for Indigenous engagement in northern development.

Appendix 2

CRCNA membership

The CRCNA membership brings together industry, communities, research organisations, all northern jurisdictions and international partners in a collaborative industry-led RD&E venture.

A key strength of the CRCNA is the flexibility to allow members to engage with the CRCNA on a project by project basis. The CRCNA welcomes all parties with an interest in developing Northern Australia to become members.

The CRCNA membership structure has been designed so membership is a nominal fee to ensure any entity, be it an individual, company, research organization or Government can be an equal member with all members holding only one vote.

The CRCNA membership will fluctuate over the ten years as organisations and individuals participate and engage with the CRCNA.

Nominate for membership

Download the CRCNA funding call fact sheet – PDF (136kb)