Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia

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Commitment

Work with the board of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia to establish an early funding round for projects, create a work stream focused on strengthening the role of our northern cities and regions as global leaders in agriculture, food and tropical health and gateways to the Asian economy and work with stakeholders to identify a location for its headquarters in Townsville.

Responsibilities

Led by the Australian Government through the CRC for Developing Northern Australia.

Progress to Date

Since its first open funding call in October 2017, the CRCNA has committed $13 million towards 40 industry-led projects that are expected to leverage participant cash and in-kind contributions exceeding $32.5 million in total value. These projects will see research being conducted in the agriculture and food (including aquaculture), northern health service delivery and Traditional Owner-led business development sectors. The CRCNA is currently working with more than 30 Queensland-based project participants.

In Townsville, Townsville Enterprise Limited and the North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils have identified the need for collective industry action on transforming North Queensland’s agriculture, production, infrastructure and export sectors to meet existing and future international market demands. A consultant has been engaged to investigate how the region is currently positioned within its capacity to supply and export internationally to ensure producers within the North Queensland region are well informed to maximise production opportunities and meet future international agricultural demand. The findings of this report are expected to inform a long-term regional investment strategy and multi-industry agreement.

The CRCNA has its head office in Townsville and has also opened offices in Broome and Darwin.

Q1 2018: CRCNA commits $508,182 towards two projects valued at $1.6 million.

Q2 2018: CRCNA commits $1.5 million towards six projects valued at $5.59 million.

Q3 2018: CRCNA commits $1.6 million towards six projects valued at $4.2 million.

Q4 2018: Announced outcome of second open funding call with seven projects securing $4.3 million in CRCNA funding.

Next Steps

From Q1 2019 onwards the CRCNA will confirm contracted projects from the second open funding call.

In addition to projects funded through open funding calls, the CRCNA is progressing work to deliver key research outcomes that support the Northern Development Ministerial Forum in identifying solutions to overcome barriers to development and investment.

The outcomes of these studies, together with the outcomes of several industry situational analysis studies (rice, forestry, beef, cropping, aquaculture, health, infrastructure and communication sectors), will form the basis of the CRCNA’s first State of the North report due in 2019/20.