Australia: The Miles Review of the Cooperative Research Centres Programme - CRCs to stay, with a new, more targeted focus

In September 2014 Mr David Miles AM was appointed by the Federal Government to conduct a review of the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Programme. The Review has now been released and all 18 of his recommendations have been accepted by the Government and will now be implemented. A copy of the Review can be found here.


Established 25 years ago, the CRC Programme is a grant scheme designed to promote scientific research and collaboration between the private sector and public research bodies. There are currently 35 active CRCs.

CRCs are intended to address challenges faced by industry that require medium to long term collaboration between the private sector and researchers. Typically, CRCs involve private sector companies collaborating with universities to innovate in a particular area over a 10-15 year period.


The Miles Review recommends that CRC Programme should be retained, but should be realigned to put industry "front and centre". Under Miles' recommendations, CRCs will deliver targeted outcomes for the private sector through industry-led research.

Some of the major recommendations from the Miles Review are outlined below.

  1. Putting industry 'front and centre'

The Miles Review envisages the CRC Programme as "an industry led scheme that enables industry to identify and champion collaborative applied research projects".

In order to ensure that CRCs are closely aligned with industry goals, the Miles Review also recommends several structural changes to the CRC format. CRC funding will be limited to a maximum of ten years to ensure they are focussed on "solving a problem, rather than establishing an organisation".

The CRC application process will be overhauled and applicants will be required to submit a business proposal that includes:

  • clear, tangible, industry-focussed objectives;
  • a statement of research commercialisation potential;
  • an explanation of how the CRC research outcomes will lead to economic growth (including intellectual property outputs such as patents); and
  • a plan for active involvement by industry in the proposed management, governance and administration of the CRC.

The Review also recommends that participants should also have reached agreement on intellectual property rights between the CRC participants at the time of their application for funding and that they should be required to develop an IP management strategy alongside the funding agreement.

  1. Introduction of the new 'CRC-P' model

The Miles Review recommends a new model for CRCs, 'Cooperative Research Centre – Projects' (CRC-P), that will run alongside the existing CRC model.

CRC-Ps will run over a shorter lifespan (3 years maximum), on a smaller budget ($3 million maximum), with more specific industry goals and simpler governance and administration requirements. This new format will encourage the involvement of small and medium enterprises which may not have the resources to invest in expensive, long-term research.

  1. Focus on growth sectors

The recent Federal Government Industry Innovation and Competitive Agenda recognised five "growth sectors" where Australia should focus its research and development efforts: Food and Agribusiness; Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; Advanced Manufacturing; and Oil, Gas and Energy. See our previous article on the growth sectors here.

The Miles Review recommends that CRCs should focus on these growth sectors, and funding should be prioritised for CRCs contributing to these sectors. However, the report makes it clear that CRCs in other research areas will not be excluded from funding.

The Miles Review also recommends that the 'public good' funding stream should be discontinued. The public good funding stream provided funds to CRCs that delivered a 'broader benefit to the community and society as a whole' and was usually given to social or environmental research CRCs.

  1. Improving Efficiency

The Miles Review recommends several measures to improve the efficiency of CRCs. For example, the review recommends mandating that all CRCs (but not CRC-Ps) be incorporated as companies limited by guarantee, in order to save time which is often spent considering structural arrangements when a new CRC is established.

CRCs will also be subject to regular reviews against their industry focussed goals and funding agreements, and any CRCs that fail to meet their objectives will not be allowed to continue for the full period of their funding agreement. This review procedure will also apply to all existing CRCs; only CRCs that are on track to meet their stated goals will be permitted to continue operating with CRC Programme funding.


The Miles Review recognises that "[t]he CRC Programme continues to be extremely important in encouraging and facilitating industry-led collaboration between industry and research". However, a new, more targeted focus is required.

The proposed 2015/2016 Federal budget plans to cut $26.8 million of CRC funding (over four years). After the recommendations of the Miles Review have been implemented, it is expected that industry will play a larger role in the direction and management of CRCs. This may spur greater industry financial contributions to the research sector that could help to bridge the gap in government funding.

The Miles Review also presents a new opportunity for industry (including SMEs) to invest in short-term R&D through the CRC-P model. If this model becomes popular, it may see universities engaging with industry in more short-term research projects.

According to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) cited in the Miles Review, Australia has one of the lowest global rates of collaboration between industry and research institutions. The Miles Review's recommendations align the goals of industry and research institutions, and create a paradigm for CRCs where industry and research bodies can work together in a mutually beneficial relationship.

The recommendations contained in the Miles Review give industry the opportunity to play a lead role in the establishment and management of CRCs. It is hoped that the implementation of these recommendations will stimulate significant engagement and investment by industry in research projects with clear commercialisation potential.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Most awarded firm and Australian deal of the year
Australasian Legal Business Awards
Employer of Choice for Women
Equal Opportunity for Women
in the Workplace (EOWA)

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.