Industrial Transformation Research Hubs—Selection Report for Funding Commencing in 2015 

Overview

The Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme provides funding to Eligible Organisations to engage in cutting edge research on new technologies and economic, commercial and social transformation and support the development of research in the Industrial Transformation Priorities. Research Hubs will engage Australia’s best researchers in issues facing the new industrial economies and training the future workforce. The scheme supports collaborative research activity between the Australian higher education sector and industry, designed to focus on strategic outcomes not independently realisable.

The objectives of the Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme are to:

  • encourage collaborative R&D projects between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector that will solve challenging industry issues relevant to the Industrial Transformation Priorities
  • drive growth, productivity and competitiveness to within key growth sectors
  • leverage national and international investment in targeted industry sectors, including from industry and other research end-users.

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Selection process

Proposals for projects commencing in 2015 opened on 10 September 2015 and closed on 10 December 2015. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS). This report outlines recommendations from the selection process for that round.

The ARC prepared funding recommendations for submission to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The outcomes were based on advice from the Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) which:

  • assessed proposals and reviewed assessments made by independent assessors
  • reviewed applicants’ comments on assessors’ reports
  • ranked each proposal relative to the others on the basis of the proposal, the assessors’ reports and applicants’ responses to those assessments
  • assessed and recommended budgets
  • recommended proposal feedback;

and, on advice from the ARC Eligibility Committee which:

  • considered eligibility issues identified by ARC staff, the IAP or independent assessors
  • where required, sought advice from institutions with respect to issues raised
  • made recommendations to the CEO in respect of ineligible proposals.

This report reflects the approved recommendations by the Minister.

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Selection criteria

Selection criteria and corresponding weights for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs proposals are:

  • Proposed project (30%)
  • Feasibility and Benefit (30%)
  • Capacity and Commitment from Partner Organisation(s) (20%)
  • Investigator(s) (20%).

The ARC assessment and subsequent reporting process for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs 2015 used a total of 10 IAP members and was managed in RMS. A total of 35 independent assessors’ reports were submitted to the ARC for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs 2015.

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Summary of Outcomes

The ARC received a total of 11 proposals for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015. There were no withdrawn proposals. The overall success rate was 45.5 per cent, higher than the success rate for the previous round of 26.7 per cent. Please note that within this selection report approved funding may include indicative funding amounts.

Table 1. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funds for successful proposals from Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2014 and 2015

Funding year

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Requested funds over project life (all proposals)

Requested funds over project life (approved proposals)

Funds allocated over project life

Allocation as a percentage of request (%)

2014

15

4

26.7

$57,602,990

$19,675,022

$18,681,869

95.0

2015

11

5

45.5

$35,636,281

$15,705,194

$15,696,194

99.9

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Approved Research Hubs for Funding

Table 2. Details of approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015

Research Hub Title

Administering Organisation

Hub Director

Approved funds over project life

ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation

The University of Adelaide

Prof Dusan Losic

$2,611,346

ARC Research Hub for Nanoscience-based Construction Material Manufacturing

Monash University

A/Prof Wenhui Duan

$5,000,000

ARC Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of Personalised Medical Devices

The University of Queensland

A/Prof Matthew Dargusch

$2,799,251

ARC Research Hub for Integrated Device for End-user Analysis at Low-levels

University of Technology, Sydney

Prof Dayong Jin

$3,708,510

ARC Research Hub for Advanced Solutions to Transform Tall Timber Buildings

The University of Queensland

Prof Jose Torero Cullen

$1,577,087

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Selection outcomes by Administering Organisation 

Table 3. Numbers of proposals, success rates, ARC approved funding for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015 proposals by Administering Organisation

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

New South Wales

3

1

33.3

$3,708,510

The University of New South Wales

1

0

0

-

The University of Sydney

1

0

0

-

University of Technology, Sydney

1

1

100.0

$3,708,510

Queensland

4

2

50.0

$4,376,338

The University of Queensland

4

2

50.0

$4,376,338

South Australia

1

1

100.0

$2,611,346

The University of Adelaide

1

1

100.0

$2,611,346

Victoria

2

1

50.0

$5,000,000

Monash University

2

1

50.0

$5,000,000

Western Australia

1

0

0

-

The University of Western Australia

1

0

0

-

Total

11

5

45.5

$15,696,194

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Participating organisation contributions by organisation type

Table 4. Participating organisation contributions by organisation type for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015 proposals

Organisation type

Organisation contributions (cash & in-kind) over project life (approved proposals)

Administering Organisation

$9,355,493

Other Eligible Organisation

$7,774,644

Partner Organisation

$28,086,668

Other Organisation

$256,300

Total

$45,473,105

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Partner Organisation contributions by sector

Partner Organisations were identified as either Australian, international, government, non-profit, industry or overseas higher education organisations. The Partner Organisation contributions in these categories for proposals approved for funding in 2015 are shown below in Table 5.

Table 5. Partner Organisation contributions by sector for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015 proposals

Type

 

Cash

In-kind

Total

 

 

$

%

$

%

$

%

Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Federal Government

 

$0

0.0

$54,780

0.4

$54,780

0.2

Australian state, territory and local government

 

$785,000

6.3

$2,729,888

17.4

$3,514,888

12.5

 

Sub-total

$785,000

6.3

$2,784,668

17.8

$3,569,668

12.7

Industry Body

             

Australian

 

$7,475,000

60.2

$8,422,000

53.7

$15,897,000

56.6

International

 

$3,850,000

31.0

$3,885,000

24.8

$7,735,000

27.5

 

Sub-total

$11,325,000

91.3

$12,307,000

78.5

$23,632,000

84.1

Non-Profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian

 

$250,000

2.0

$320,000

2.0

$570,000

2.0

International

 

$0

0.0

$55,000

0.4

$55,000

0.2

 

Sub-total

$250,000

2.0

$375,000

2.4

$625,000

2.2

Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International

 

$50,000

0.4

$210,000

1.3

$260,000

0.9

 

Sub-total

$50,000

0.4

$210,000

1.3

$260,000

0.9

 

Total

$12,410,000

100.0

$15,676,668

100.0

$28,086,668

100.0

Note: All totals and percentages are shown using rounded figures, and as such may not sum.

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Leverage of ARC funding

Of the 11 proposals considered, five were approved with a total approved funding, over the life of these projects, of $15.7 million. There are 43 Partner Organisations involved with these proposals, committing a total of $28.1 million in cash and in-kind funding. This represents $1.79 from Partner Organisations for every dollar of funding from the ARC.

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Industrial Transformation Priorities

Table 6. Instances of identified Industrial Transformation Priorities in Industrial Transformation Research Hubs proposals approved for funding commencing in 2015

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Instances in proposals considered*

Instances in proposals approved*

Advanced Manufacturing

7

5

Food and Agribusiness

3

0

Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

1

0

Mining Equipment, Technology and Services

1

1

Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals

4

3

Total

16

9

* A single proposal may select multiple Industrial Transformation Priorities

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Science and Research Priorities

Table 7. Approved funding for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015 by Science and Research Priority

Priority area

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Approved funds (over project life)

Food

3

-

-

-

Energy

1

-

-

-

Advanced manufacturing

4

3

75

$10,410,597

Environmental change

1

1

100

$1,577,087

Health

2

1

50

$3,708,510

Total

11

5

45.5

$15,696,194

Total within Science and Research Priorities

11

5

45.5

$15,696,194

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

100%

100%

 

100%

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Table 8. Proposal data by Field of Research category for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015

Field of Research category

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

2

0

-

Information and Computing Sciences

1

0

-

Engineering

5

3

$9,376,338

Technology

3

2

$6,319,856

Total

11

5

$15,696,194

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Gender

A total of 203 participants were named as Hub Director, Chief Investigator or Partner Investigator on all proposals considered in this round. Of these, 180 are male and 23 are female. The success rates for male and female participants in this round are both 52.2 per cent. The five Hub Directors are male.

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International collaboration

Figure 1. Instances of International Collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015 proposals

 Instances of International Collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2015 proposals

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