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 and
  • strengthen the capabilities of industries and other research end-users in identified Industrial Transformation Priority areas.

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 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 Unless otherwise specified, figures presented in this report exclude withdrawn proposals.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 Training Centresproposals 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 Training Centres 2018 used 12 SAC members and was managed in RMS. A total of 84 independent assessors’ reports were submitted to the ARC for Industrial Transformation Training Centres 2018.

Summary of Outcomes

The ARC received 28 proposals for Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding commencing in 2018. There were no withdrawn proposals. As shown in Table 1, the overall success rate was 25 per cent, lower than the success rate for the previous round of 34.6 per cent.

Table 1. Comparison of proposal numbers, success rates, requested and allocated funds for approved proposals from Industrial Transformation Training Centres 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

26

9

34.6

$109,330,426

$39,653,520

$36,990,090

93.3

2018

28

7

25.0

$120,905,851

$30,922,441

$28,922,441

93.5

*May include indicative funding amounts

Approved Training Centres for funding

Table 2 lists basic information on the approved Training Centres for funding in 2018.

Table 2.    Details of approved Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018

Training Centre Title

Administering Organisation

Training Centre Director

Approved funds over project life

ARC Training Centre in Surface Engineering for Advanced Materials

Swinburne University of Technology

Prof Christopher Berndt

$4,889,410

ARC Training Centre for Multiscale 3D Imaging, Modelling and Manufacturing

The Australian National University

Prof Mark Knackstedt

$3,981,223

 

ARC Training Centre for the Development of Tools for Fragment Based Design

Monash University

A/Prof Martin Scanlon

$4,163,359

ARC Training Centre for Medical Implant Technologies

The University of Melbourne

Prof Peter Lee

$4,000,000

ARC Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science

Curtin University

Prof Andrew Rohl

$3,925,357

ARC Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies

Deakin University

Prof Maria Forsyth

$4,380,454

ARC Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods

The University of Queensland

A/Prof Yasmina Sultanbawa

$3,582,638

Selection outcomes by Administering Organisation 

Institutions in all Australian States and Territories, except the Northern Territory, submitted proposals for Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018. In addition to ARC funding, significant contributions are made by participating organisations. In some cases this contribution represents more than double the ARC approved funding, as shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Numbers of proposals, success rates for approved Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018

Administering Organisation

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

Success rate (%)

Approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

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

Australian Capital Territory

1

1

100.0

$3,981,223

$15,065,453

The Australian National University

1

1

100.0

$3,981,223

$15,065,453

New South Wales

6

0

0.0

$0

$0

Macquarie University

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

The University of New South Wales

2

0

0.0

$0

$0

The University of Newcastle

2

0

0.0

$0

$0

Southern Cross University

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

Queensland

2

1

50.0

$3,582,638

$5,759,704

Queensland University of Technology

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

The University of Queensland

1

1

100.0

$3,582,638

$5,759,704

South Australia

3

0

0.0

$0

$0

The University of Adelaide

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

The University of South Australia

2

0

0.0

$0

$0

Tasmania

3

0

0.0

$0

$0

University of Tasmania

3

0

0.0

$0

$0

Victoria

10

4

40.0

$17,433,223

$35,527,429

The University of Melbourne

1

1

100.0

$4,000,000

$7,633,926

Deakin University

1

1

100.0

$4,380,454

$7,820,455

Monash University

5

1

20.0

$4,163,359

$8,341,397

Swinburne University

2

1

50.0

$4,889,410

$11,731,651

RMIT University

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

Western Australia

3

1

33.3

$3,925,357

$14,058,755

Curtin University

2

1

50.0

$3,925,357

$14,058,755

The University of Western Australia

1

0

0.0

$0

$0

Total

28

7

25.0

$28,922,441

$70,411,341

* 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

As shown in Table 4, contributions to Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018 from Partner Organisations total around $37 million, more than half of the total organisation contributions to successful Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018.

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

Organisation type

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

Administering Organisation

$21,259,184

Other Eligible Organisation

$10,803,515

Partner Organisation

$37,395,235

Other Organisation

$953,407

Total

$70,411,34

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 are shown in Table 5.

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

Type

 

Cash

In-kind

Total

   

$

%

$

%

$

%

Government

 

Australian Federal Government

 

$55,000

0.55

$4,193,000

15.34

$4,248,000

11.36

Australian state, territory and local government

 

$0

0.00

$1,275,906

4.67

$1,275,906

3.41

 

Sub-total

$55,000

0.55

$5,468,906

20.01

$5,523,906

14.77

Industry Body

 

Australian

 

$6,280,054

62.42

$10,394,711

38.03

$16,674,765

44.59

International

 

$2,105,561

20.93

$6,371,470

23.31

$8,477,031

22.67

 

Sub-total

$8,385,615

83.35

$16,766,181

61.34

$25,151,796

67.26

Non-profit

 

Australian

 

$1,390,000

13.82

$3,114,800

11.40

$4,504,800

12.05

 

Sub-total

$1,390,000

13.82

$3,114,800

11.40

$4,504,800

12.05

Education

 

International

 

$0

0.00

$745,533

2.73

$745,533

1.99

 

Sub-total

$0

0.00

$745,533

2.73

$745,533

1.99

Other

 

Other

 

$230,000

2.29

$1,239,200

4.53

$1,469,200               

3.93

 

Sub-total

$230,000

2.29

$1,239,200

4.53

$1,469,200               

3.93

 

Total

$10,060,615

100

$27,334,620

100

$37,395,235

100

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

Leverage of ARC funding

Of the 28 proposals considered, seven were approved with a total approved funding, over the life of these projects, of $28,922,441 million. There are 78 Partner Organisations involved, committing a total of $37,395,235 million in cash and in-kind funding. This represents $1.29 from Partner Organisations for every dollar of funding from the ARC.

Industrial Transformation Priorities

As shown in Table 6, proposals for Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018 were submitted in all Industrial Transformation Priorities. Eleven proposals listed Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals as a Priority. The most successful Priority for Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018 is Advanced Manufacturing. No proposals in the Cyber Security Priority were successful.

Table 6. Instances of identified Industrial Transformation Priorities in Industrial Transformation Training Centres proposals approvedfor funding commencing in 2018

Industrial Transformation Priorities

Instances in proposals considered*

Instances in proposals approved*

Advanced Manufacturing

9

4

Cyber Security  

2

0

Food and Agribusiness

8

1

Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals

11

3

Mining Equipment, Technology and Services

4

2

Oil, Gas and Energy Resources 

6

3

Total

40

13

* A single proposal may select multiple Industrial Transformation Priorities

Science and Research Priorities

As shown in Table 7, all proposals for Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018 selected a Science and Research Priority. Nine proposals listed Advanced Manufacturing as a Science and Research Priority, with three proposals in this Priority area being successful.

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

       

Approved funds (over project life)

Advanced Manufacturing

9

3

33.3

$12,870,633

Cybersecurity

1

0

0

0

Energy

3

1

33.3

$4,380,454

Food

7

1

14.3

$3,582,638

Health

4

1

25.0

$4,163,359

Resources

4

1

25.0

$3,925,357

Total

28

7

25.0

$28,922,441

Total within Science and Research Priorities

28

7

25.0

$28,922,441

Percentage within Science and Research Priorities (%)

100.0

100.0

 

100.0

 

Field of Research Categories

As shown in Table 8, eleven proposals listed Engineering as their primary Field of Research. This Field of Research was the most successful, with six approved proposals.

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

Field of Research category

Proposals considered

Proposals approved

ARC approved funding over project life (approved proposals)

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

Chemical Sciences

1

0

$0

$0

Earth Sciences

2

0

$0

$0

Environmental Sciences

1

0

$0

$0

Biological Sciences

2

0

$0

$0

Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

3

0

$0

$0

Information and Computing Sciences

4

0

$0

$0

Engineering

11

6

$24,759,082

$62,069,944

Technology

1

0

$0

$0

Medical and Health Sciences

2

1

$4,163,359

$8,341,397

Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services

1

0

$0

$0

Total

28

7

$28,922,441

$70,411,341

Gender

A total of 722 participants were named as Training Centre Director, Chief Investigator or Partner Investigator on all proposals considered. Of these, 562 are male, 154 are female and six have chosen not to specify their gender. The success rates for male, female and participants who have chosen not to specify their gender are 22.7 per cent, 33.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively. While the total number of female participants is significantly lower than the total number of male participants, the success rate for female participants on approved proposals is higher.

International collaboration

As shown in Figure 1, seventeen countries are participating in the Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018, compared with 10 for the previous selection round. New international collaborations for the Industrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018 include Chile, Czech Republic, India, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand.

Figure 1.   Instances of international collaboration in approvedIndustrial Transformation Training Centres for funding in 2018 proposals

*SARs = Special Administrative Regions

  • China (excludes SARs and Taiwan) —2
  • Czech Republic—1
  • England—3
  • Germany—4
  • India—1
  • Israel—1
  • Italy—1
  • New Zealand—1
  • Norway—1
  • Singapore—1
  • Spain—1
  • Sweden—1
  • Switzerland—1
  • Thailand—1
  • United States of America—5
  • Canada—2
  • Chile—1