Cooperative Research Australia: Seizing the opportunity to position innovation at the forefront of policy to address national challenges    

Media Release 

Cooperative Research Australia (CRA), the voice of industry-research collaboration, has published its 2023-24 Pre-Budget Submission, urging the Federal Government to drive economic recovery through innovation and collaboration, to build on proven successful programs for industry-led research collaboration and to invest in an industry-ready, innovative workforce. 

“Australia is in a privileged position to take on the opportunity to place innovation at the forefront of policy to address national challenges”, said Cooperative Research Australia CEO Jane O’Dwyer 

“Peer countries and competitors alike are tackling the global economic crisis by growing their percentage of GDP spend on research and development (R&D). They are clear: the way forward is through innovation.” 

“It makes economic sense to invest in programs like the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC), which according the recently released Acil Allen Impact Assessment of the program, induced around $200 million per year of new private R&D, and grew GDP by $32.5 billion over the life of the program up until 2021.” 

“Our submission focuses on the benefits that research and development bring to the Australian economy, with a particular interest in industry-research collaboration research translation and commercialisation”. 

The key CRA recommendations are: 

  1. Increase R&D investment as a percentage of GDP from 1.8 to 3 percent. 
  2. Enhance the return on public investment in R&D by coordinating programs across Government. 
  3. Incentivise innovation through industry-led research collaboration by establishing an up to 20% R&D tax collaboration premium. 
  4. Grow the Cooperative Research Centres Program to support the stimulation of growth of R&D investment from all sources. 
  5. Support an accelerated start and smooth transition/windup of CRCs and similar entities. 
  6. Replicate the successful CRC Program model in other Australian Government portfolios to achieve their policy objectives. 
  7. Evidence ROI from Industry PhDs with a detailed destination survey of alumni of industry focused programs. 
  8. Invest in commercialisation training. 
  9. Review PhD stipends to make them more competitive in the labour market and address attraction and completion rates. 

Cooperative Research Australia is committed to working collaboratively with the Australian Government to build an innovation strategy that ensures a productive and prosperous nation for all Australians and looks forward to further opportunities to contribute.    

View our submission here