About the CRCNA

Our vision

To create a prosperous, sustainable, vibrant and healthy Northern Australia.

Our purpose

To deliver industry-led research and development collaborations which de-risk  the development landscape and enable the sustainable economic growth of Northern Australia.

About the CRCNA

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) is investing $75m of Commonwealth funds over 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 initial focus areas:

  • Agriculture and food (including aquaculture, horticulture and forestry)
  • Northern Australia health service delivery
  • Traditional Owner-led business development

Our Constitution is available to read here.

Our Board

The CRCNA board has 8 Northern Australian-based Directors.

Area of operation

Northern Australia refers to all of the Northern Territory, those parts of Queensland  above the Tropic of Capricorn as well as the regional centres of Gladstone, the Gladstone Hinterland and those parts of  Western Australia above the Tropic of Capricorn as well as Carnarvon and Exmouth and the Local Government Areas of Meekatharra and Wiluna.

Research activities can be located outside of this area as long as the impact of the research falls within the Northern Australia jurisdiction as shown below.

map of Northern Australia

Strategic intent

The CRCNA brings together industry, universities and other research bodies, regional development organisations, all northern jurisdictions and international partners in a collaborative industry-led R&D venture to assist businesses, governments and researchers identify opportunities for business and growth in the north to deliver an evidence-base of information to support and inform the developing northern Australia agenda for the benefit of all Australians and achieve the following :

1. De-risk the Northern Australian investment landscape – broker strategic discussions with relevant decision-makers and stakeholders and guide a coordinated approach that informs development planning and investment decision making across jurisdictions.

2. Deliver a coordinated approach to sector development – support strategic information and knowledge-building which helps frame and understand the key challenges and opportunities facing the north’s key agricultural sectors, health service sectors, infrastructure, and regional development.

3. Inform appropriate supply chain development and infrastructure planning across Northern Australia – deliver an evidence base which helps prioritise supply chain and infrastructure investment to provide timely access to high-value international and domestic markets.

4. Deliver research, development, and extension solutions with impact – leverage grass-roots level RD&E effort, capacity and knowledge of northern Australia to ensure solutions are implemented in a meaningful way and to the benefit of all Australians.

5. Build the strategic research capacity and develop the workforce skills of Northern Australians - in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, food, health service delivery and Traditional Owner-led business development (in agriculture, aquaculture, food and health service/ models of delivery).

Strategic objectives

It is our aim that by achieving the above, our research collaborations will deliver high impact research which lowers investment barriers and enables significant capital to flow to support:

strategic objectives


The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia was released on 18 June 2015 and included $75 million over ten years to establish a Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA). The CRCNA is a core element of the Australian Government’s agenda for developing the north.

The CRCNA’s head office is located in Townsville.