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Innovation & SMES – ideas to reality: business engagement with CRCs

13 August 2019 @ 9:30 am11:30 am


The engagement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) helps to build a culture of innovation, and therefore increased productivity and global competitiveness through all levels of the Australian industry.

CRCs are engines of innovation for Australia. An initiative of the Australian Government, CRCs bring together the best minds from research and industry to work as a team. Together, and driven by the needs of private, public or community end-users, CRCs turn research results into products, services and technologies and address national priorities within a local and global context.

It is up to a CRC’s participants to decide on the approach which best suits their particular industry or sector.  (SMEs) are a major pathway for innovation because of their flexibility in taking up new opportunities; this flexibility can lead to an important role in commercialising or utilising the research outputs of a CRC.


  • Dr Tony Peacock, CEO at CRC Association ‘CRC & CRC-P(Project) Programs’
  • Cameron van den Dungen, CEO at Sleeptite ‘CRC-P Experience’
  • Ian Christensen, Managing Director at iMOVE Australia ‘DURING CRC – Collaborating in CRC’
  • Brett Carter, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Therapeutics CRC AFTER CRC – It’s over, what’s next?’
  • David Norman, CEO at Future Fuels CRC Ltd ‘BEFORE CRC – Starts with an Idea’


Benefits of CRC Engagement for SMEs

  • involvement with a CRC can be a cost-effective way to participate in and benefit from research that might otherwise be beyond their reach
  • increases opportunities to network with key players in the industry and in research institutions
  • can offer a wider understanding of cutting edge technology/new developments in a particular field
  • increases opportunities for training and professional development to facilitate the adoption of new processes, new technologies, new management practices
  • enhances prospects to take market advantage of new developments, improve productivity, competitiveness and access to global supply chains

SMEs as CRC Participants

SMEs are participants in CRCs and engage with CRCs at different levels. In some situations, SME participants have been able to make a significant contribution and commitment to the CRC, in line with the level of engagement of other participants. More commonly, SMEs have been engaged on a smaller scale level, becoming involved with individual projects or for limited periods of time without taking on a major commitment to the broader governance and management of the CRC. SMEs can be research project service providers, research end-users, or a combination of both.

SME Spin-off Companies as CRC Participants

As part of a CRC’s commercialisation and utilisation activities, a company may be created or spun-off from a CRC to commercialise new intellectual property. If this commercialisation process is successful and creates a revenue stream, the spun-off SME company may see value in itself becoming a CRC participant.


Deloitte Australia
550 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC Australia


Peter Kasprzak
0422 232 340
View Organiser Website


Event type:
Suitable for:
Innovation and technology
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