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Consider the following Questions

  • What is a CRC / Cooperative Research Centre ?
    A CRC is a Cooperative Research Centre. Funded via the Commonwealth Government CRC Program, a CRC offers medium to long-term industry-led collaborative research programs aims to solve industry identified problems and improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries includes an industry-focused education and training program, including an Industry based PhD program that builds capability and capacity increases research and development (R&D) capacity in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) Supports and fosters industry take up of research to deliver new business models and commercial outcomes that can have global reach.
  • What is the proposed term of the Additive Manufacturing CRC?
    The new CRC is proposed as a 7 year term CRC, allowing industry to be able to undertake projects with research partners of up to 5 years. If successful in the application process, the new CRC would commence from July 2025 onwards, subject to a funding agreement with the Commonwealth and agreement amongst the Partners.
  • What is the size of the Additive Manufacturing CRC?
    The size in terms of Commonwealth funding will be dependent on the aggregate contributions from Partners (as proposed by Partners through the Contribution and Declaration Forms), however to have sufficiency of scale, reach and impact a CRC of between $40m to $50m could be considered.
  • Are the Contribution and Declaration Forms legally binding?
    No. They are a declaration of intent, and need to signed as such. The Commonwealth CRC Program Fact Sheet includes that a "Partner Declaration is not a contract between the Commonwealth and the Partner – it does not create any binding legal obligation on the Partner". Partners do however need to be serious about their participation and intent to invest and collaborate. The legal contract occurs when the CRC is formed on the signing of a Partners Agreement.
  • What is the total size of industry commitment that the CRC is looking for?
    For the CRC to have critical mass and scale, we are looking to establish $50 million CRC that runs over a period of seven years. How the $50 million, matched by the Commonwealth, will be broken up depends on the nature of the contributions. The Commonwealth will always favour matched contributions than cash. If we can aggregate $50million in cash and take that to the Commonwealth that would be the ideal position. That aggregated cash would come from a variety of participants including the State Governments, industry associations, industry and other participants.
  • Am I declaring my intent to participate in the CRC as a partner for the full term of the CRC or just for a project?
    Ideally you are declaring your intent to be a Partner for the term of the CRC to tap into the broader benefits enabled by such a network and to contribute to the CRC Programs. As a Research Partner your contributions are made through the term of the CRC. As an Industry Partner your contributions are made through the term of your project, and there is no obligation to remain as a CRC Partner beyond the project, unless you have also elected as an option, and are eligible, to be a member of the entitiy that is the CRC. Participation in projects will be determined through formal Project Agreements which will have agreed notice periods in the event of project termination.
  • Am I right in my understanding that the 1:1 funding is available only on $ spent within the CRC Research partner organisations?
    Yes that is correct. The 1:1 cash matched funding is only for eligible expenditures on an approved project with a CRC Research Partner organisation.
  • Can I pick my Research Partner / do I have choice as to which University I work with?
    Yes, Industry Partners have a choice, although the university / research organisation(s) needs to be a Research Partner in the CRC. Potential Research Partners are listed on the website. The AMCRC bid team can assist with the relevant Research Partner introductions. This is not however an exhaustive list of research organisations who may join the CRC as Research Partners - it includes those who have confirmed they may be listed as potentials.
  • Can I work with more than one University?
    Yes of course, and while this could create additional complexity, this is exactly what is possible within CRCs that can facilitate multi-party, multi-year collaborations. In fact working with more than one research organisation enables an industry partner to tap into specific skills, experiences and facilities needed to successfully undertake the research. Working with more than one business is also an opportunity.
  • Will the universities be able to help develop the project?
    Yes and this is encouraged as it is an important part of building the collaboration and agreeing on what needs to be done, by when and to what level. The AMCRC bid team can assist with the relevant Research Partner introductions.
  • How do we find out which university will be interested in collaborating with us?
    There are 14 Research Universities/Organisations that have committed to be Research Partners in the CRC, and these are listed on website. The AMCRC Bid team can assist with the relevant Research Partner introductions.
  • Is 3x inkind mandatory on projects and / or contributions?
    The 3x additional value of in-kind is not mandatory for partners to be able to describe the type of project to support the CRC Stage 1 bid application. It is therefore not a mandatory requirement for Contribution and Declaration Forms to be completed. It is typical however when projects are underway that there are at least 3x the CRC or Industry Partner cash value invested in the project. In-kind is however a measure of the committed resources and effort applied by each Partner to a project and to the CRC, so while note matched by CRC cash is nonetheless an important contribution to total project investments and evidence of significant 'skin in the game' and the strategic importance placed on the project and CRC by Partners.
  • What measurables would need to be reported on during a project?
    Measurables are determined by the Partners in advance of commencement of a project, and are agreed and documented in a formal project agreement that defines the Partners, contributions, milestones, outcomes, resources, IP arrangements, general terms, etc. Typically milestones can be defined on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, and the Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) categories can be used to describe measurables.
  • How do Industry Partner payments work during the project?
    Industry Partners are invoiced by the CRC monthly in advance of the next month's cost of research as described in the Project Agreement budget. At the end of each quarter (3 months), and on approval by both Industry Partner and the CRC of the quarterly report against agreed milestones, payments are made by the CRC (Industry partner cash + CRC matching cash) to the Research Partner(s) - ie quarterly in arrears.
  • How accurate do I need to be in the project description; this is a long way off and what I need might change?
    It is more relevant to be able to describe the type of project you are considering, and only at a macro level at this stage. Specific details on the project itself are welcome as part of how Contributions are determined, however not necessary for the Stage 1 CRC bid.
  • How can SMEs participate in the CRC?
    SMEs are a very important part of CRC collaborations. The new CRC has been designed to enable SMEs to participate in research projects through enabling smaller projects from $100K to $200K in industry cash to be considered, by removing the need for lump sum project payments to be made (payments are made by industry partners on a monthly basis to the CRC in line with agree project expenditure profiles. Many manufacturing SMEs successfully participate in CRCs and CRC-Ps.
  • Can software companies by considered as Industry Partners?
    Yes, where the software being developed and applied relates to manufacturing, and where an opportunity exists to create software and IP in Australia (and not just apply software and IP developed elsewhere). Many of the largest platform and software providers are heavily integrated within manufacturing (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Siemens, Salesforce, just to example a few). Research Program 5 may be an opportunity for software to be researched where this leads to manufacturing outcomes.
  • Is the initial application project specific? What if the business wishes to shift focus prior to Stage 2 of the CRC application? Can a business subsequently increase their cash with CRC matching?
    The Contribution Form should identify the type of project proposed, together with estimated timeline and cost, however it does not need to defined in substantial detail. This would be further developed between Stage 1 and Stage 2 and through formal project applications once the CRC is operational. There remains opportunity through these stages to increase or decrease cash contributions, noting that an increase may be limited by the total investment and funding available across the CRC, and a decrease may reduce the overall CRC investment and associated potential Commonwealth funding.
  • Collaborative IP project arrangements can be complex. What can be shared as best practice examples to understand expectations and dynamics when it comes to IP expectations from Research Partners?
    Key is that an commercialisation plan is agreed and made possible, with neither party placing barriers in the way of successful commercialisation of the project outcomes and the Project IP. Project Partners are therefore strongly encouraged to clearly identify relevant Background IP and to agree on the ownership of Project IP, including the fields (eg sectors) that they own this for. The CRC itself will hold no share in Project IP created, and can therefore assist Partners reach agreement, noting that the Project IP should ideally be owned by the Partner most capable of successful commercialisation.
  • Do universities need to bring industry partners to be able to join the CRC?
    No, it is not a mandatory requirement for universities to bring new industry partners into the CRC in order to join the CRC. However, if you are a university that is new to CRCs – which is unlikely – or new to the manufacturing space, you may have more confidence in contributing to the CRC if you have already identified a number of industry partners interested in undertaking a CRC project. It comes down to the opportunity and risk profile of the university joining the CRC. In general, it would be preferable – advisable even - if the university has a number of industry partners on board even if the project ideas are more rough than ready. This would help to cement a stronger CRC bid with the Commonwealth as it shows the type of partnerships that could be formed between university and industry in the CRC.
  • As a University, if we participate in the CRC will we be able to have an influencing roles in the Research Program?
    Yes, the the CRC bid contemplates a Research Strategy and Advisory Committee and certain Research Program leadership roles for those Research Organisations that contribute over $1 million to the CRC over the CRC term.
  • What will be the conditions around PhD students?
    Ideally PhD students are funded through the course of research projects. Additionally projects can engage a broader range of academics such as Masters students, Early Career Researchers, internships and even undergraduates, as well as apprentices, eg in conjunction with TAFEs and Industry 4.0 test labs.
  • Can overseas research institutions be involved in the CRC?
    Yes they can be involved and are welcomed as strategic partners, collaborators, license partners (eg as an Affiliate Partner). However only Australian Research Partners in the CRC can receive CRC payments for research programs.
  • Is there a cost to partners for preparation of the Stage 1 (& 2) submission given that CIS are managing this?
    Research Partners that have committed to join the CRC Bid process will be required to contribute $25k to the Stage one application costs and a further $25km to the stage 2 application costs. Industry Partners that join at a member level will be rquired to pay $10k for the stage 2 application costs.
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