CRC conference to celebrate 25 years of achievements

Wednesday, 20 May, 2015

The CRC Association’s annual conference, to be held from 25-27 May in Canberra, will be celebrating 25 years of innovation through the Cooperative Research Centres Program.

The CRCs were established in 1990 to bring scientists and industries together to work on some of the biggest challenges facing Australia. These have included better bushfire science, manufacturing, digital technology, biosecurity, sustainable farming, water management and mental health issues.

The designs, products and services developed by CRCs in response to these challenges have become part of our everyday life; from soft contact lenses, to tooth mousse that helps repair dental enamel, to new materials for aircraft wing surfaces that reduce fuel use and cut global carbon emissions. In food alone, CRCs have transformed the quality of Australian lamb, assessed salt tolerance in rice, improved the health of commercial pig herds and developed new strategies for fisheries in the face of rising ocean temperatures.

“It’s a unique program and it works equally well across economic, social and environmental research areas,” said CRC Association Chief Executive Dr Tony Peacock. “The critical factor in their success is that each CRC has well-defined goals and their management, research and industry investors all agree on those goals and work toward them.”

The CRC’s annual conference will open on 25 May, with Megan Clark, former CSIRO chief executive, delivering the Ralph Slatyer address on science and society at the Australian War Memorial theatre. This will be followed on 26 May by a forum at Parliament House and on 27 May by a series of workshops focused on common interests relevant to particular roles and responsibilities.

With the theme of ‘Australia 2040’, the one-day forum will look 25 years back at the achievements of Cooperative Research Centres and discuss the research challenges of the next 25 years. Speakers will include Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and CRC leaders Dr Jane Burns (Young and Well CRC), Professor Mike Aitken (Capital Markets CRC) and Professor Murray Scott (CRC for Advanced Composite Structures).

For more information on the conference, visit

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