Overview

The Industrial Transformation Training Centres is a scheme that fosters close partnerships between university-based researchers and other research end-users to provide innovative Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and postdoctoral training for the end-user focused research industries vital to Australia’s future.  

The objectives of the Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme are to:

  • foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and postdoctoral fellows to pursue industrial training
  • drive growth, productivity and competitiveness within key growth sectors
  • enhance competitive research collaboration between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector
  • strengthen the capabilities of industries and other research end-users in identified Industrial Transformation Priority areas.

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 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, 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 Training Centres 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 Training Centres 2017 used a total of ten SAC members and was managed in RMS. A total of 97 independent assessors’ reports were submitted to the ARC for Industrial Transformation Training Centres 2017.

Summary of Outcomes

The ARC received a total of 26 proposals for Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2017. There were no withdrawn proposals. The overall success rate was 34.6 per cent, higher than the success rate for the previous round of 22.2 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 Training Centres for funding in 2016 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 (%)

2016

27

6

22.2

$108,649,447

$25,397,871

$22,044,067

86.8

2017

26

9

34.6

$109,330,426

$39,653,520

$36,990,090

93.3

Approved Training Centres for funding

Table 2. Details of approved Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2017

Training Centre Title

Administering Organisation

Training Centre Director

Approved funds over project life

ARC Training Centre for Advanced Technologies in Rail Track Infrastructure

University of Wollongong

Prof Buddhima Indraratna

$3,937,625

ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production

The University of Adelaide

Prof Vladimir Jiranek

$4,459,672

ARC Training Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies

The University of Melbourne

Prof Alastair Stewart

$3,123,492

ARC Training Centre for the Chemical Industries

The University of Melbourne

Dr Anastasios Polyzos

$3,279,502

ARC Training Centre for Musculoskeletal Biomedical Technologies

The University of Sydney

Prof Hala Zreiqat

$4,420,408

ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and their Applications

The University of Sydney

Prof Iver Cairns

$4,619,950

ARC Training Centre in Cognitive Computing for Medical Technologies

The University of Melbourne

Prof Timothy Baldwin

$4,133,659

ARC Training Centre in Fire Retardant Materials and Safety Technologies

The University of New South Wales

Prof Guan Yeoh

$4,272,072

ARC Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Imaging Technology

The University of Queensland

Prof David Reutens

$4,743,710

Selection outcomes by Administering Organisation 

Table 3. Numbers of proposals, success rates and ARC approved funding for approved Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2017

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

ARC approved funding over project life

(approved proposals)

Australian Capital Territory

1

0

0

0

The Australian National University

1

0

0

0

New South Wales

12

4

33.3

$17,250,055

Macquarie University

2

0

0

0

The University of New South Wales

4

1

25.0

$4,272,072

The University of Newcastle

2

0

0

0

The University of Sydney

3

2

66.7

$9,040,358

University of Wollongong

1

1

100.0

$3,937,625

Queensland

2

1

50.0

$4,743,710

Queensland University of Technology

1

0

0

0

The University of Queensland

1

1

100.0

$4,743,710

South Australia

4

1

25.0

$4,459,672

The University of Adelaide

4

1

25.0

$4,459,672

Tasmania

1

0

0

0

University of Tasmania

1

0

0

0

Victoria

4

3

75.0

$10,536,653

The University of Melbourne

4

3

75.0

$10,536,653

Western Australia

2

0

0

0

Curtin University

2

0

0

0

Total

26

9

34.6

$36,990,090


Participating organisation contributions by organisation type

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

Organisation type

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

Administering Organisation

$30,493,500

Other Eligible Organisation

$11,944,232

Partner Organisation

$29,866,965

Other Organisation

$3,260,861

Total

$75,565,558

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 Training Centres for funding in 2017 proposals

Type

 

Cash

In-kind

Total

   

$

%

$

%

$

%

Government

             

Australian Federal Government

 

$195,000

2.7

$2,528,000

11.2

$2,723,000

9.1

Australian state, territory and local government

 

$465,000

6.3

$1,261,473

5.6

$1,726,473

5.8

International Government

 

$0

0.0

$0

0.0

$0

0.0

 

Sub-total

$660,000

9.0

$3,789,473

16.8

$4,449,473

14.9

Industry Body

             

Australian

 

$5,346,054

72.8

$14,227,188

63.2

$19,573,242

65.5

International

 

$1,050,000

14.3

$2,056,000

9.1

$3,106,000

10.4

 

Sub-total

$6,396,054

87.1

$16,283,188

72.3

$22,679,242

75.9

Non-profit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian

 

$70,000

1.0

$437,250

1.9

$507,250

1.7

 

Sub-total

$70,000

1.0

$437,250

1.9

$507,250

1.7

Education

             

International

 

$0

0.0

$376,340

1.7

$376,340

1.3

 

Sub-total

$0

0.0

$376,340

1.7

$376,340

1.3

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

$216,000

2.9

$1,638,660

7.3

$1,854,660

6.2

 

Sub-total

$216,000

2.9

$1,638,660

7.3

$1,854,660

6.2

 

Total

$7,342,054

100.0

$22,524,911

100.0

$29,866,965

100.0

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

Leverage of ARC funding

Of the 26 proposals considered, nine were approved with a total approved funding, over the life of these projects, of just under $37.0 million. There are 80 Partner Organisations involved with these proposals, committing a total of $29.9 million in cash and in-kind funding. This represents $0.81 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 Training Centres proposals approved for funding commencing in 2017

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Instances in proposals considered*

Instances in proposals approved*

Advanced Manufacturing

8

4

Food and Agribusiness

8

2

Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

4

1

Mining Equipment, Technology and Services

6

1

Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals

12

5

Total

38

13

 

* A single proposal may select multiple Industrial Transformation Priorities

Science and Research Priorities

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

Priority Area  Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%) 

Approved funds (over project life)

Food

6

1

16.7

$4,459,672

Resources

5

0

0

$0

Advanced Manufacturing

7

3

42.9

$12,171,524

Health

7

4

57.1

$16,421,269

Transport

1

1

100.0

$3,937,625

Total

26

9

34.6

$36,990,090

Total within Science and Research Priorities

26

9

34.6

$36,990,090

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

100

100

 

100

 

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

Field of Research category

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

Chemical Sciences

2

2

$8,023,212

Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

3

1

$4,459,672

Information and Computing Sciences

2

1

$4,133,659

Engineering

12

4

$17,250,055

Technology

2

0

$0

Medical and Health Sciences

2

1

$3,123,492

Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services

2

0

$0

Studies in Human Society

1

0

$0

Total

26

9

$36,990,090

Components

The components that can be funded in the Industrial Transformation Training Centres are Higher Degree by Research candidates (ICHDR) and Postdoctoral Fellows (ICPD). The component types, number requested and success rates are shown below in Table 9.

Table 9. Numbers and success rates for Industrial Transformation Training Centres components

Component

Number Requested

Number Approved

Success rate (%)

ICHDR

303

114

37.6

ICPD

95

33

34.7

Total

398

147

36.9

Gender

A total of 638 participants were named as Training Centre Director, Chief Investigator or Partner Investigator on all proposals considered in this round. Of these, 512 are male, 124 are female and two have chosen not to specify their gender. The success rates for male, female and participants who have chosen not to specify their gender in this round are 42.0 per cent,  29.8 per cent and 100 per cent respectively. Of the nine Training Centre Directors, eight are male and one is female.

International collaboration

Figure 1. Instances of international collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2017 proposals

Instances of international collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2017 proposal

  • Canada—1
  • United States of America—6
  • China (excludes SAR and Taiwan)—4
  • England—2
  • Germany—2
  • Ireland—1
  • Hong Kong (SAR of China)—1
  • Israel—1
  • Japan—1
  • Singapore—1