The Blue Economy CRC’s Research Investment Framework explains how the Blue Economy CRC will seek proposals for new research projects, and how it will determine which proposals receive funding to proceed.  This is critical information for all Blue Economy CRC Participants, together with any external organisations interested in taking part in our extensive research program.

The Research Investment Framework delivers on an essential Action required under both of the Blue Economy CRC’s Research and Adoption and Commercialisation Strategies, within the Strategic Plan.

Research Programs
Current Projects
Past Projects

Research Activity Principles

The Research Investment Framework states seven (7) high-level Principles governing how the Blue Economy CRC will invest in, and undertake, its research program:

  1. Research projects are driven by the needs of our industry participants and the end-users that they engage with.
  2. Research projects are demand-driven not resource/supply-driven.
  3. Research projects involve collaborations between industry and/or Government and research providers and will ideally be multidisciplinary.
  4. Research Projects must directly or indirectly contribute to meeting the BECRC’s Milestones and Blue Economy CRC Objectives.
  5. Project Participants are expected to contribute resources (cash and/or in-kind) to each project that the Blue Economy CRC provides a cash contribution (co-investment).
  6. In investing in Projects, the BECRC will consider:
    • The needs of our Participants;
    • Maximising the use of in-kind contributions from our Participants;
    • Generating additional income;
    • Assembling the best teams from our Participants;
    • Best use of our infrastructure;
    • Covering off gaps not yet met in our Milestones.
  7. Third-Party Participation in projects is encouraged when that participation brings additional expertise and/or resources that are not otherwise readily available in the Blue Economy CRC.

Funding Criteria

For those research proposals deemed to be consistent with all seven principles, the following six (6) criteria will be applied to determine which proposals will actually receive an investment by the Blue Economy CRC:

  1. Strategically Aligned
  2. High Impact
  3. Utilised by Industry
  4. World-class research
  5. Strong project management
  6. Full compliance

These criteria are explained here, and research proponents are strongly advised to carefully consider this information.

Seeking research proposals

The Blue Economy CRC will commission projects identified by:

  1. the Blue Economy CRC Board, generally for research topics it has prioritised to address a significant gap in the research already completed; or
  2. Industry Participants, where they nominate an important knowledge gap that aligns with the Principles (above). In these cases, the Blue Economy CRC will work with those Participants to develop a detailed project proposal.

Blue Economy CRC research projects will continue to be classified as either ‘Scoping Study Projects’ or ‘General Projects’.

Scoping Study Projects are small-scale projects that will help the Blue Economy CRC understand existing technologies / solutions / knowledge and trends, and the major challenges and opportunities that the Blue Economy CRC’s research program may address.  These projects are short-term and will generally be no longer than 6 months’ duration.  Cash funding from the Blue Economy CRC for these projects will not generally exceed $50,000 (though the overall project value may exceed this, due to in-kind contributions from Project Participants).

General Projects are projects that involve new research.  They will have a clear alignment to the Blue Economy CRC’s Strategic Plan and Research priorities and should formally include at least two Blue Economy CRC Participants (with at least one being an industry participant).  General Projects can be of any length; however, projects will not be funded for more than 4 years.  These projects do not have a maximum funding amount.

Note that General Projects may also include one or more PhD scholarships, for which the student recruitment will be undertaken by the relevant university (following its own standard procedures).

The Blue Economy CRC can accept EOI submissions at any time via the Connect portal, for both Scoping Study and General Projects.

This will replace the open call approach applied for the Blue Economy CRC’s initial rounds of project funding, launched in 2019-20.

Project Submission and Approval Process

Broadly speaking, for both Scoping Study Projects and General Projects, typically the submission process will involve two main stages:

(i) an Expression of Interest (EOI);

and for those that are supported,

(ii) a full proposal.

Project Ideas Initiation

The way in which a new project idea is initiated is important, so that the overall investment process can operate most effectively from the beginning.  This is particularly relevant for research proposals emerging directly from Participants.

Blue Economy CRC Participants should contact the Blue Economy CRC Research Director or the relevant Program Leader/s, to discuss their project idea.

Based on that discussion, the Blue Economy CRC will provide Participants with initial advice as to whether the project idea should proceed.

If proceeding, the Project Participants will be required to identify the Project Leader, who will be responsible for managing the application process on behalf of the project team.

The full research investment process is summarised in this flowchart:

  • Discuss project concept with BE CRC
  • BE CRC provides advice regarding proceeding forward
  • Project Leader identified
  • EOI developed on Connect and submitted
  • EOI reviewed by Research Executive
  • BE CRC informs Project Leader of outcome
  • Approved EOI proceed to full proposal
  • Preparation of full proposal on Connect
  • Project Leaders to liaise with Program Leaders about submission
  • Full proposal submitted on Connect
  • Project Participant approvals are secured by BE CRC
  • Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) reviews proposal
  • SAC provides advice to the BE CRC Management Team and Board on what projects to support
  • BE CRC informs Project Leader of outcome
  • Completion / execution of Project Agreement
  • Funding released and project commenced
  • BE CRC makes formal announcement of funded projects

For External organisations/non-BECRC Participants

Please note that, while project proposals can only be submitted by Blue Economy CRC Participant organisations, external organisations are welcome to contact the Blue Economy CRC if they have interest to collaborate. Please contact us to discuss your proposal with the CEO and/or the Research Director.