Twenty-two industry-led collaborative research and development projects to share in $47.1 million in funding from the Morrison government, under round 11 of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative.

The initiative aims to deliver a range of innovative technologies and create job opportunities in key manufacturing sectors, including in regional Australia.

These projects will leverage a further $86 million of cash and in-kind contributions from 95 project partners. 

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter said the successful projects are outstanding examples of what can be achieved by fostering research collaborations between industry and research organisations.

“These projects will address challenges in our National Manufacturing Priority areas and lead to tangible outcomes that will improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, while growing the economy and creating new jobs,” said Porter. 

“CRC-Ps also help strengthen links between research organisations and industry, and support Australian businesses to develop new technologies, products, processes and services for global supply chains.

“Funded projects under the latest round involve 58 Australian companies, including 42 small and medium businesses, and 34 research organisations across the country.” 

One of the successful projects is the collaboration by Replas, RG Programs and Services, SR Engineering, Outwest Concrete, and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which received $1.09 million for its concrete systems utilising post-consumer recycled plastic aggregate.

Replas' Polyrok innovation.
Replas' Polyrok innovation.

The project will replace a portion of the mineral aggregate with waste soft plastic packaging, providing a solutions for over 30 per cent of problematic waste. 

It will further develop, test and certify Recycling Plastic-reinforced Geopolymer Concrete (RP-GC) solutions, recently innovated by Repplas and SR Engineering, to Australian standards. 

The CRC-P funding will be used for R&D and testing necessary for the new RP-GC products to gain required market acceptance.

Another successful project saw Dasma Environmental, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Melbourne, Brickworks, Federation University Australia, Recycleeye, Ouroborus and Universal Vortex Industries come together for an AI-based conversion process of unrecyclable waste into engineered building products.

Receiving $2.1 million, the CRC-P will introduce smart analytical platform based on AI to optimise material recovery at Dasma’s materials recycling facility (MRF).

Data from this platform can be shared, and through the use of this data, MRFs, recyclers and manufacturers can plan their supply chain to increase the use of recovered resources.

The CRC-P will also develop a prototype smart manufacturing plant to develop new building products, with the aim to manufacture products that can compete with the current market to eliminate negative value stream of the recovered raw material by market diversification. 

This end-to-end manufacturing is a solution to add value and efficiency by having visibility across the supply chain, and will pave the way towards application of Industry 4.0 principles in waste management.

Since the first round of CRC-Ps in 2016, the government has awarded over $376 million in funding under the CRC-P to support 176 projects. These projects include over 900 collaborating partners from industry, research, government and community organisations, and are leveraging $853 million in partner contributions. 

CRC-Ps can run for up to three years and must have at least two Australian industry partners, including one small or medium business, and one Australian research organisation partners.

For a full list of successful projects, click here.

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