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 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 within key growth sectors and
  • leverage national and international investment in targeted industry sectors, including from industry and other research end-users.

Selection process

Proposals for projects commencing in 2018 opened on 3 October 2017 and closed on 29 November 2017. Proposals were submitted through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Management System (RMS). This report outlines outcomes from the selection process for that round.

These recommendations are 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 the ARC’s Medical Research Advisory Group
  • made recommendations to the CEO in respect of ineligible proposals.

This report reflects the outcomes approved by the Minister. Unless otherwise specified, figures presented in this report exclude withdrawn proposals.

Selection criteria

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

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

The ARC assessment and reporting process for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs 2018 used 12 SAC members and was managed in RMS. A total of 27 independent assessor reports were submitted to the ARC.

Summary of Outcomes

The ARC received nine proposals for Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2018. There were no withdrawn proposals. The overall success rate was 44.4 per cent, lower than the success rate for the previous round of 60.0 per cent.

Overall funding amounts are shown in Table 1, together with a comparison of the previous round.

Table 1. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funds for approved proposals from Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2017 and 2018*

Funding year

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Requested funds over project life (all proposals)

Requested funds over project life (approved proposals)

Approved Funds over project life (approved proposals)*

Approved funds as a percentage of request (%)

2017

5

3

60.0

$17,806,053

$10,603,797

$9,603,797

90.6

2018

9

4

44.4

$37,115,656

$17,971,900

$17,971,900

100.0

*May include indicative funding amounts

Approved Research Hubs for Funding

Table 2. Details of approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2018

Research Hub Title

Administering Organisation

Hub Director

Approved funds over project life

ARC Research Hub for Medicinal Agriculture

La Trobe University

Professor Tony Bacic

$4,995,391

ARC Research Hub for Smart Next Generation Transport Pavements

Monash University

Professor Jayantha K Kodikara

$4,918,357

ARC Research Hub for Driving Farming Productivity and Disease Prevention

Griffith University

Professor Yongsheng Gao

$5,000,000

ARC Research Hub for Integrated Energy Storage Solutions

The University of New South Wales

Professor Zhao Yang Dong

$3,058,152

Selection outcomes by Administering Organisation 

Table 3. Numbers of proposals, success rates, ARC approved funding and participating organisation contributions for approvedIndustrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2018 by Administering Organisation

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

Participating organisation*# contributions (cash & in-kind) over project life (approved proposals)

New South Wales

4

1

25.0

$3,058,152

$8,736,292

The University of New South Wales

1

1

100.0

$3,058,152

$8,736,292

The University of Sydney

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

The University of Newcastle

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

Charles Sturt University

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

Queensland

2

1

50.0

$5,000,000

$11,933,547

Griffith University

1

1

100.0

$5,000,000

$11,933,547

The University of

Queensland

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

Victoria

3

2

66.7

$9,913,748

$35,791,110

La Trobe University

1

1

100.0

$4,995,391

$22,135,790

Monash University

2

1

50.0

$4,918,357

$13,655,320

Total

9

4

44.4

$17,971,900

$56,460,949

* Participating Organisations include the Administering Organisation, Other Eligible Organisations, Partner Organisations and Other Organisations.

# Participating Organisation contributions are shown by organisation type in Table 4.

Participating organisation contributions by organisation type

Table 4. Participating organisation contributions by organisation type for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2018 proposals

Organisation type

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

Administering Organisation

$24,447,348

Other Eligible Organisation

$4,150,206

Partner Organisation

$27,036,060

Other Organisation

$827,335

Total

$56,460,949

Partner Organisation contributions by sector

Partner Organisations were identified as Partner Organisations were identified as government, non-profit organisation, industry body or other. The Partner Organisation contributions in these categories for proposals approved for funding in 2018 are shown in Table 5.

Table 5. Partner Organisation contributions by sector for approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2018 proposals

Type

 

Cash

In-kind

Total

 

 

$

%

$

%

$

%

Government

 

Australian Federal Government

 

$30,000

0.19

$235,000

2.13

$265,000

0.98

Australian state, territory and local government

 

$40,000

0.25

$335,000

3.03

$375,000

1.39

 

Sub-total

$70,000

0.44

$570,000

5.16

$640,000

2.37

Industry Body

 

Australian

 

$10,122,500

63.28

$6,597,735

59.76

$16,720,235

61.84

International

 

$2,200,000

13.75

$2,302,825

20.86

$4,502,825

16.65

 

Sub-total

$12,322,500

77.03

$8,900,560

80.62

$21,223,060

78.49

Non-Profit

 

Australian

 

$2,275,000

14.22

$625,000

5.66

$2,900,000

10.73

 

Sub-total

$2,275,000

14.22

$625,000

5.66

$2,900,000

10.73

Other

 

Other

 

$1,328,000

8.30

$945,000

8.56

$2,273,000

8.41

 

Sub-total

$1,328,000

8.30

$945,000

8.56

$2,273,000

8.41

 

Total

$15,995,500

 

100

$11,040,560

100.00

$27,036,060

100

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

Leverage of ARC funding

Of the nine proposals considered, four were approved with a total approved funding over the life of these proposals of $17,971,900. There are 44 Partner Organisations involved, committing a total of $27,036,060 in cash and in-kind funding. This represents $1.50 from Partner Organisations for every dollar of funding from the ARC.

Tables 6, 7 and 8 provide a summary of outcomes by Industrial Transformation Priorities, Science and Research Priorities, and Field of Research categories.

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Table 6. Instances of identified Industrial Transformation Priorities in Industrial Transformation Research Hubs proposals approved for funding commencing in 2018

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Instances in proposals considered*

Instances in proposals approved*

Advanced Manufacturing

4

1

Food and Agribusiness

5

2

Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals

2

1

Mining Equipment, Technology and Services

1

1

Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

2

1

Total

14

6

* A single proposal may select multiple Industrial Transformation Priorities

Science and Research Priorities

Table 7. Approved funding for Industrial Transformation Research Hubsforfunding in 2018by Science and Research Priority

Priority area

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Approved funds (over project life)

Food

3

1

33

$5,000,000

Transport

1

1

100

$4,918,357

Energy

2

1

50

$3,058,152

Advanced Manufacturing

2

0

0

0

Health

1

1

100

$4,995,391

Total

9

4

44

$17,971,900

Total within Science and Research Priorities

9

4

44

$17,971,900

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

100%

100%

 

100%

Field of Research Categories

Table 8. Proposal data by Field of Research category for Industrial Transformation Research Hubsfor funding in 2018

Field of Research category

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

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

Information and Computing Sciences

1

1

$5,000,000

$11,933,547

Engineering

5

2

$7,976,509

$22,391,612

Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences

1

1

$4,995,391

$22,135,790

Environmental Sciences

1

0

0

0

Chemical Sciences

1

0

0

0

Total

9

4

$17,971,900

$56,460,949

Gender

A total of 273 participants were named as Hub Director, Chief Investigator or Partner Investigator on all proposals considered in this round. Of these, 214 are male, 57 are female and two are unspecified. The overall success rates for all named participants on approved proposals was 83 per cent male, 16 per cent female, and 1 per cent unspecified.

Figure 1 shows the instances of international collaboration on approved proposals.

International collaboration

Figure 1. Instances of International Collaboration on approved Industrial Transformation Research Hubs for funding in 2018 proposals

*SARs = Special Administrative Regions 

  • China (excludes SARs and Taiwan) —3
  • United States of America—3
  • Czech Republic—1
  • England—1
  • France—11
  • India—1
  • Netherlands—1
  • New Zealand—1
  • South Africa—1