Cooperative Research Australia (CRA), the voice of industry-research collaboration, has published its Submission to the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) Consultation Paper, calling for the NRF to drive industrial transformation by harnessing Australia’s research capacity.
The National Reconstruction Fund provides a crucial financing vehicle to specifically drive investment in projects that will build prosperity across the country, broadening our industrial base and boosting regional economic development.
“For Australia to prosper, stimulating and facilitating productive industry-research collaboration must be a priority. Australia has a superior research capacity that is not being fully harnessed,” said Cooperative Research Australia CEO Jane O’Dwyer
“If the NRF strongly links to the existing successful programs that harness joint investment from government, industry and research institutions, such as the Cooperative Research Centres Program (CRCs) and the Rural Research and Development Corporations, along with the expertise that sits in CSIRO, Australia’s universities, National Critical Research Infrastructure Facilities and others, then it has a strong foundation to succeed.
“If these programs are conceived as the runways to industrial transformation, then the NRF can be conceived as providing the lift that will enable translated research to fly.”
“Our policy submission focuses on the opportunity for the NRF to ensure that Australian R&D capability is supported to success and to the generation of economic benefit for all Australians.”
The key CRA recommendations are:
- That the NRF should linked to existing programs that harness joint investment from government, industry and research institutions, such as the CRCs and the Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), along with the expertise that sits in CSIRO, Australia’s universities, National Critical Research Infrastructure Facilities (NCRIS) and build upon the capacity they develop.
- In defining the NRF’s priorities, a mapping of existing entities and capacity would support informed decision making and management of investment risk.
- Clarity of national targets should be included in the definition of the priority areas, and a balance in investment be struck that allows significant risks to be taken in pursuit of major gains, with a built-in capacity for fast failure.
- The NRF should provide a vehicle to drive cross-entity collaboration and partnership in areas of national priority and capacity.
- The NRF should support the development of place-based clusters, which in turn can help build ecosystems with the capacity to create scale at speed.
- There should be a national coordinating body to foster coordination across government and to ensure the NRF builds upon embedded capacity.
- There should be a strong link to Education and to Skills Australia to ensure that the conditions for attracting, training and retaining a highly skilled workforce are right.
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
About Cooperative Research Australia
Cooperative Research Australia strengthens and promotes the transformative potential of collaborative, industry-led research through knowledge exchange, professional development, and advocacy. Cooperative Research Australia (CRA) represents Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs and CRC-Ps) and similar collaborative research entities, universities, industry, post-CRC entities and companies, CRC-Projects and related businesses, CRC alumni and individuals with an interest in industry-research collaboration. CRA members are a lynchpin in the Australian innovation system. They are focused on creating new value in our economy for the benefit of all Australians and represent an estimated $4 billion in collective investment in innovation and commercialisation between industry, universities and other research institutions, and the Australian Government.