The 15th Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) funding round next year will focus on clean manufacturing, social innovation and sustainable regional communities.
"I encourage researchers, industry and community groups from across Australia to join forces to tackle the major challenges facing Australia," Innovation Minister Senator Carr said announcing the 2012 priorities for the CRC program.
"Clean manufacturing, social innovation and sustainable regional communities represent significant challenges for our nation and are vital to our economic and social prosperity.
"The CRC program nurtures Australians' innate resourcefulness and innovativeness by building strong collaborations that bridge the divide between our world-class researchers and our industries and community groups, so we can tackle major challenges head on."
The announcement of priorities for the 15th selection round follows the Minister's recent approval of $148 million in funding to support six CRCs in the 14th selection round.
"The CRC program is the Australian Government's premier program supporting innovation in Australian industries and society by supporting research that is targeted to driving productivity," Senator Carr said.
"From new materials being used in the light-weight, fuel efficient Boeing 787 'Dreamliner' to better health care in remote Indigenous communities and strengthening regional economic participation, CRCs are supporting growth and development right across Australia."
In the 15th selection round, the CRC committee will place a particular focus on applications that address the program priority areas, although applications remain open to all sectors and research disciplines, and the emphasis on quality and path to utilisation will not be diminished. In developing their proposals, applicants are encouraged to consider international linkages and collaborations.
CRCs are formed through partnerships between publicly funded researchers and end users - private, public or community sectors that can deploy research outcomes.
The CRC program is an Australian Government Initiative. For more information on the program, selection rounds and current CRCs, visit www.crc.gov.au.
For more information on the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio and the grants it administers, visit www.innovation.gov.au.
A printable version of the media release [PDF 56 KB] is available.