Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grants

Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grants

  • Applications for Round 25 are open until 5th March 2024.
  • Grants available: Grants have no set minimum or maximum amount, with recent rounds averaging $45 million. The requested grant should align with your project’s scope and complexity, and the grant amount can reach up to 50% of eligible project costs for industry-led research collaborations, including both eligible expenditures and permissible in-kind contributions.

Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grants offer funding for medium to long-term, industry-led research collaborations as part of the broader CRC Program, supporting industry, research, and the community through two avenues:
1. CRC Grants, providing support for medium to long-term industry-led collaborative research projects, lasting up to 10 years.
2. CRC Projects (CRC-P) grants, backing short-term, industry-led collaborative research initiatives with a duration of up to 3 years.

Key Requirements

CRCs must:

  • funding for collaborations addressing industry-identified challenges
  • requirements for CRCs to be medium to long-term industry-led research programs
  • objectives to address industry-identified problems and enhance the competitiveness, productivity, and sustainability of Australian industries
  • mandate for CRCs to include an industry-focused education and training program, incorporating a PhD initiative to build capability and capacity
  • focus on increasing research and development (R&D) capacity in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and promoting industry adoption of research

While there is no set funding limit for each CRC, the number of CRC Grants awarded in each selection round depends on the volume and quality of applications, along with available funding. Applicants are expected to contribute at least a matching amount of grant funding through cash and/or in-kind contributions.

In your application, address all assessment criteria, tailoring the level of detail and supporting evidence to match the project’s size, complexity, and requested grant amount.

Assessment Criterion 1: Project alignment with program objectives

  • explain how your project addresses an industry-identified problem, enhances the competitiveness, productivity, and sustainability of Australian industries, and aligns with Government priorities
  • outline how your project fosters high-quality research through industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative partnerships
  • specify the additional benefits your project offers compared to existing industry and research approaches.

Assessment criterion 2: The quality of your research project

  • describe the research methodologies and partner roles in addressing the industry-identified problem
  • articulate how research outputs will be deployed, emphasising pathways for adoption by industry and other end-users
  • highlight the educational and training opportunities, including a PhD program, contributing to industry and research sector capability and capacity.

Assessment criterion 3: Capacity, capability and resources to deliver your project

  • explain project and partner management, detailing governance and planning arrangements
  • address risk management, encompassing security, international partnerships, and intellectual property protection
  • outline access to essential resources, including personnel, funding, security, infrastructure, technology, and intellectual property
  • justify collaboration suitability in solving the identified problem, referencing past or existing partnerships between project collaborators.

Assessment criterion 4: Impact of the grant funding on your project

  • illustrate how the grant will impact the project in terms of scale and timing, justifying the funding amount and considering project feasibility without Australian Government funding
  • highlight the total investment the grant will leverage, emphasising why the Australian Government should invest in the project and how benefits will be retained in Australia
  • evaluate the commercial potential of the project, detailing expected outputs such as new products, processes, or services, spill-over benefits, and post-project plans.

The application process involves two stages:

Stage 1: Submission of an initial application:

  • detailing your industry problem, research program, and key personnel
  • addressing eligibility and assessment criteria
  • providing information about your partners’ involvement and contributions using the prescribed template
  • including partner declarations.

Stage 2: If successful, an invitation to submit a Stage 2 application. Completion and submission of the Stage 2 application, requiring more detailed information.

  • notification of any changes to your proposal
  • addressing feedback from the CRC Advisory Committee Stage 1
  • attaching detailed financials (contributions and expenditure), proposed activities, and milestones using the prescribed template
  • including information about anticipated impacts using the prescribed template
  • providing any additional information requested.
  • participation in an interview with the CRC Advisory Committee.

What is eligible for funding?

To qualify:

  • your application must come from a collaborating group
  • your collaboration should involve at least one Australian industry organisation and one Australian research organisation
  • demonstrate the capability to match the grant funding
  • upon success, establish the CRC as an incorporated company, limited by guarantee.
  • be a medium to long-term industry-led collaborative research project addressing industry-identified problems and enhancing the competitiveness, productivity, and sustainability of Australian industries
  • include an industry-focused education and training program, incorporating a PhD initiative to complement the research program and enhance engagement, technology development, skilled employees, and R&D capacity within industry entities
  • implement strategies for building R&D capacity within SMEs
  • deploy research outputs and promote industry uptake.

Eligible activities directly related to the project may include:

  • new research initiatives
  • proof of concept activities
  • pre-commercialisation efforts for research outcomes
  • industry-focused education and training
  • conferences, workshops, and communications
  • collaboration with international organisations contributing to national benefits for Australia.

Grant funds must be allocated only to expenses outlined in your grant agreement.

Eligible expenditure must:

  • expenditure should occur between the project start and end dates, unless specified otherwise, or for CRC entity establishment costs before the project start date, or for necessary project audit activities after the project end date
  • it must constitute a direct project cost
  • it should not fall under ‘eligible special purpose expenditure’
  • expenditure must align with the eligible expenditure guidelines.

What companies are eligible for funding?

CRC grant applications welcome participation from diverse industry sectors, research disciplines, and community sectors.

To apply, form a collaborative group agreeing to work together and use the planned CRC name as the applicant entity. Essential partners in each CRC must include at least one Australian industry entity and one Australian research organisation. Previous partners from existing or former CRCs or CRC-Ps are eligible to participate in other CRCs or CRC-Ps.

Partners are not obligated to commit for the entire project duration, but all partners must contribute resources to the CRC. Both proposed cash and in-kind contributions from partners are considered equally in determining the maximum grant amount.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis, and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable, and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis, and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder Relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.