[ASC-media] Media release: CRCs - making science useful

CRCA Media crca.media at starclass.com.au
Thu Nov 9 00:22:29 CET 2006

Cooperative Research Centres Association

Media Release 

9th November 2006

CRCs - Making Science Useful

Recent Highlights from the Cooperative Research Centres Programme 

The CRC Association today released its latest booklet "Making Science Useful: the key to Australia's Future" which highlights ongoing achievements delivered over the last year for the benefit of Australia, from a number of Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) in the CRC Programme.

The projects were all entries for the Awards for Excellence in Innovation, given at the CRC Association's Annual Conference in Brisbane, in May this year.  There were four winning entries, with two focussed on Education.

In releasing the Booklet, the CRC Association's Chairman, Hon Tony Staley, noted the winners as good examples of the contribution to the Australian economy from the CRC Programme. 

o	Capital Markets CRC for developing Compliance Explorer, real- time fraud detection software to protect security brokers here and overseas against rogue and illegal trading; the world market is estimated at more than $500 million per year.
o	The CRC for Tropical Plant Protection for developing new strains of high-yielding, disease-resistant forage crops.  These "superfodders" have already penetrated markets in North Africa, the Middle East and South America, while in Australia they are likely to lift pasture production by up to 30% 
o	The CRC for Australian Weed Management for developing WeedED, a package of training resources on weed identification and control for the vocational education and training sector.  Weeds cost us $4 billion a year, so this investment in training those who have to manage them will pay off handsomely.
o	The Molecular Plant Breeding CRC for "Get into Genes", a hands-on workshop and teaching resource program pitched at secondary school students.  A few years hence, some of Australia's most talented young biologists and biotechnologists will recall Get into Genes as the initial spark for their careers.

Other achievements featured further emphasise the diverse nature of CRC outcomes, which deliver economic, social and environmental benefits to Australia.  These include:
o	The Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease (ABCD) project has already benefited thousands of Indigenous people in the Top End
o	An ingenious radar-based underground monitoring system that will save millions of dollars for miners 
o	A new course, Fire Ecology and Management in Northern Australia, fires up university students by taking them deep into controversies over the use of fire in regional land management.
o	Two delightful "augmented reality" devices to make the treatment of young burns patients less stressful 
o	A postgraduate course in greenhouse science for teaching, management and policy professionals to fill the gap because there's no multidisciplinary textbook available. 
o	An on line tool for quality control and accreditation of Australia's vast tourist industry

These projects show how CRCs are helping to deliver innovation for Australia by bringing together researchers with the users of the research, to ensure that the research is well focused and taken up and used. 

The value of our CRC trained post-graduate students has also been recognized with the inclusion of stories about the work of the eight finalists who took part in a Conference session "Showcasing CRC Post-graduate students" sponsored by CSIRO.

For information & free booklets: Dr Anne Campbell, CRC A Executive Manager, 02 6270 6524; crca at crca.asn.au

More information about the ASC-media mailing list