Government announces $74m boost for minerals processing and manufacturing CRCs


The Federal Government yesterday announced a A$74 million investment to boost resource extraction research and to support innovative manufacturing through the funding of two cooperative research centres (CRCs).

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Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said the Government will invest $34 million in the established CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) to fund its ongoing activities in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of mineral extraction to 30 June 2021.

“The CRC ORE, headquartered in Brisbane, will continue to develop Australia’s mining services sector by targeting operational inefficiencies, enabling the recovery of lower-grade ore deposits in an energy and cost effective way,” the Minister said in a media release.

He said the remaining $40 million will be allocated to the new CRC for Innovative Manufacturing (IM CRC) over a seven year period to 30 June 2022, to assist Australian manufacturers to transition to high-value internationally competitive manufacturing.

“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,” reads the press release.

Speaking at the CRC Association annual conference in Canberra, Mr Macfarlane said CRCs will continue to play an integral role in driving greater 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 Minister said.

“More than 60 organisations, including multi-nationals, SMEs and peak industry bodies, will be involved in these CRCs. They will bring together a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as financial support, to increase productivity in their sectors.”

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

“The Australian Government has put science at the centre of industry policy through the range of measures in the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda. 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 Minister said.

The Government will invest more than $731 million over five years for the CRCs to continue their diverse range of research and has committed more than $4 billion in funding to the CRC Programme and supported over 200 CRCs since 1991.