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.

Selection process

Proposals for projects commencing in 2017 opened on 11 October 2016 and closed on 15 December 2016. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS). This report outlines approved recommendations from the selection process for that round.

The ARC has prepared funding recommendations for submission to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The outcomes were based on advice from the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) 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 SAC 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.

Selection criteria

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

Project Quality and Innovation (30%)
Feasibility and Commitment      (20%)
Benefit  (30%)
Investigator(s) (20%)

The ARC assessment and subsequent reporting process for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs 2017 used a total of nine SAC members and was managed in RMS. A total of 20 independent assessor reports were submitted to the ARC for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs 2017.

Summary of Outcomes

The ARC received a total of 5 proposals for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017. There were no withdrawn proposals. The overall success rate was 60 per cent, higher than the success rate for the previous round of 45.5 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 2015 and 2017*

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 (%)

2015

11

5

45.5

$35,636,281

$15,705,194

$15,696,194

99.9

2017

5

3

60.0

$17,806,053

$10,603,797

$9,603,797

90.6

*There was no 2016 round

Approved Research Hubs for Funding

Table 2. Details of approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017

Research Hub Title

Administering Organisation

Hub Director

Approved funds over project life

ARC Research Hub for Energy-efficient Separation

Monash University

A/Prof Xiwang Zhang

$4,000,000

ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living

Deakin University

Prof John Grundy

$2,962,655

ARC Research Hub for Processing Lignocellulosics into High Value Products

Monash University

Prof Gil Garnier

$2,641,142

Selection outcomes by Administering Organisation 

Table 3. Numbers of proposals, success rates, ARC approved funding and participating organisation contributions for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 proposals by Administering Organisation

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

Queensland

1

0

0

0

The University of Queensland

1

0

0

0

Victoria

4

3

75.0

$9,603,797

Deakin University

1

1

100.0

$2,962,655

Monash University

2

2

100.0

$6,641,142

Swinburne University of Technology

1

0

0

0

Total

5

3

60.0

$9,603,797

Participating organisation contributions by organisation type

Table 4. Participating organisation contributions by organisation type for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 proposals

Organisation type

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

Administering Organisation

$10,111,748

Other Eligible Organisation

$5,177,646

Partner Organisation

$19,635,060

Other Organisation

$1,183,510

Total

$36,107,964

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 2017 are shown below in Table 5.

Table 5. Partner Organisation contributions by sector for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 proposals

Type

 

Cash

In-kind

Total

 

 

$

%

$

%

$

%

Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Federal Government

 

$1,000,000

10.63

$500,000

4.89

$1,500,000

7.4

Australian state, territory and local government

 

$25,000

0.27

$50,000

0.49

$75,000

0.38

 

Sub-total

$1,025,000

10.90

$550,000

5.38

$1,575,000

8.02

Industry Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian

 

$6,186,260

65.73

$6,948,800

67.97

$13,135,060

66.90

International

 

$1,700,000

18.06

$1,450,000

14.18

$3,150,000

16.04

 

Sub-total

  $7,886,260

83.79

$8,398,800

82.15

$16,285,060

82.94

Non-Profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian

 

$500,000

5.31

$1,125,000

11.00

$1,625,000

8.28

 

Sub-total

$500,000

5.31

$1,125,000

11.00

$1,625,000

8.28

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

$0

0

$150,000

1.47

$150,000

0.76

 

Sub-total

$0

0

$150,000

1.47

$150,000

0.76

 

Total

$9,411,260

100

$10,223,800

100

$19,635,060

100

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

Leverage of ARC funding

Of the five proposals considered, three were approved with a total approved funding, over the life of these projects, of $9.6 million. There are 30 Partner Organisations involved with these proposals, committing a total of $19.6 million in cash and in-kind funding. This represents $2.04 from Partner Organisations for every dollar of funding from the ARC.

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Table 6. Instances of identified Industrial Transformation Priorities in Industrial Transformation Research Hubs proposals approved for funding commencing in 2017

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Instances in proposals considered*

Instances in proposals approved*

Advanced Manufacturing

3

2

Food and Agribusiness

1

0

Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals

2

1

Total

6

3

* A single proposal may select multiple Industrial Transformation Priorities

Science and Research Priorities

Table 7. Approved funding for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 by Science and Research Priority

Priority area

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Approved funds (over project life)

Food

1

0

0

0

Advanced manufacturing

3

2

66.7

$6,641,142

Health

1

1

100.0

$2,962,655

Total

5

3

60.0

$9,603,797

Total within Science and Research Priorities

5

3

60.0

$9,603,797

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

100%

100%

 

100%

 

Table 8.  Proposal data by Field of Research category for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017

Field of Research category

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

Information and Computing Sciences

1

1

$2,962,655

Engineering

4

2

$6,641,142

Total

5

3

$9,603,797

Gender

A total of 136 participants were named as Hub Director, Chief Investigator or Partner Investigator on all proposals considered in this round. Of these, 117 are male and 19 are female. The success rates for male and female participants in this round are 74.3 and 52.6 per cent respectively. The three Hub Directors are male.

International collaboration

Figure 1. Instances of International Collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 proposals

Instances of International Collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 proposals

  • United States of America—2
  • Canada—1
  • Denmark—1
  • England—1
  • Finland—1
  • France—1
  • Germany—1
  • Ireland—1
  • Japan—1
  • Singapore—1
  • Sweden—1