28 March 2018


In 2011, the ARC announced a new research program designed to build significant new research partnerships and expand existing partnerships in key areas of national importance. This program, called the Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) has quickly demonstrated its impact to industry and to the research sector.

The ITRPis transforming the way that research and industry interact. It fosters new collaborations with industries to solve challenging industry issues, leveraging investment from the local and international business community.

The current priorities are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Cyber Security
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals.

The program has two funding schemes, Industrial Transformation Research Hubs and Industrial Transformation Training Centres.

The Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme engages 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 that are not independently realisable. These Research Hubs receive funding of $500,000 to $1 million per year for three to five years.

The Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme fosters close partnerships between university-based researchers and other research end-users to provide innovative Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and postdoctoral training, for end-user focused research industries that are vital to Australia's future. Training Centres receive up to $1 million per year for three to five years.

There have now been six rounds of Research Hubs announced, and five rounds of Training Centres, with 57 Research Hubs and Training Centres awarded over $200 million between them. These Research Hubs and Training Centres are proving to be significant powerhouses of research ingenuity.

For example:

  • The ARC Dairy Innovation Hub, led by Professor Sally Gras at The University of Melbourne, has worked to address significant technical challenges facing the dairy manufacturing industry. The Research Hub has addressed practical questions relevant to the industry, such as, ‘What makes Mozzarella stretchy? What happens to cheese as it ages? How can the shelf life of dairy products be extended for domestic and export markets?’. Other research areas have focussed on dairy products with improved taste and spreadability and reduced fat cheeses that really do ‘taste like real cheese’. The Research Hub has also developed a new technique to separate the different components of whey from milk to recover high-value ingredients, reduce disposal costs, increase sustainability and maximise commercial returns.
  • The ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, led by Professor Vladimir Jiranek at The University of Adelaide, has collaborated with industry partners to tackle industry challenges, including responding to changes in climate and consumer preferences. The funding has enabled the Training Centre to establish new Higher Degree by Research and postdoctoral research projects aimed at improving the productivity and profitability of Australian wine production. Already the Training Centre has created lower alcohol content wines without compromising flavour quality and has developed technologies to improve wine yield and quality.

Further information about the ITRP is available from the ARC website, and promotional flyer.

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