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Crean announces first cooperative research centres

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EMBARGO: NOON 14 MARCH 1991 24/91


The Federal Government announced today the first 15 of up to 50 cooperative research centres it will establish under a new $100-million-a-year program.

The Minister for Science and Technology and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Science, Simon Crean, announced the first-round centres. "The cooperative research centres will help Australia to achieve closer linkages between science and the market.

"Australia must match the technology push provided by its strong research base with the demand pull of industry and other research users, and these centres will make an important contribution to this goal."

The first 15 centres will develop and apply Australia's scientific and engineering skills to:

. Improve Australia's industrial base, especially advanced manufacturing and information industries, by drawing on our expertise in the emerging fields of material science and information technologies.

. Capture the benefits of our world-class capability in medical research, both through the development of pharmaceuticals and other commercial products and contributing to public health.


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. Strengthen the established resource-based industries both by providing the knowledge that will underpin their continued competitiveness and capacity to value add, and addressing the challenge of the sustainable use and development of our natural resource wealth.

. Contribute to more responsible and effective environmental and waste management and the exploitation of commercial opportunities in this area.

. Take a leading scientific position in the Antarctic, enabling us to continue to strengthen Australia's lead in the international consideration of this unique region.

Mr Crean said the cooperative research centres were a major new element in Australia's scientific and technological infrastructure. "They draw together outstanding research groups in the universities, CSIRO and other government research institutions and link them to researchers and users in industry and other sectors of the community.

"They also reflect the balance between longer-term strategic research and short-term, market-oriented projects that is essential to forging the links we need between science and industry.

"The centres will also play an important role in training in science and engineering research, providing the skilled people we need to be internationally competitive into the next century."

The centres must involve at least one university. Private industry is participating in 12 of the centres, and CSIRO in 14. More than half the centres have a strong

engineering component and will promote the application of engineering research and the flow of engineering skills into industry.

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Commonwealth funding for the 15 centres under the CRC Program will increase to $30 million a year (in 1990/91 dollars) by 1992/93, and total $190 million over the seven years the centres will be initially funded. Participants must at least match this

contribution. In most of the first 15 centres, however, their commitment is expected to be well above this level.

Industry support, in cash and kind, is expected to total over $90 million over seven years. Several State Governments have also pledged substantial support for centres located primarily in their States.

Most of the 120 applications in the first round were initiated by university or CSIRO groups, and Mr Crean encouraged private and public sector industry groups to take a more pro-active role in the second and third rounds.

"Businesses should take the initiative in seeking out and drawing together universities, CSIRO and other government research bodies in proposals that will assist their industry to develop a strong strategic research base.

"The program provides a unique opportunity for companies to invest in the long-term future of their industry through the development of new technologies and the education of skilled people."

Mr Crean also said the Cooperative Research Centres Committee would take a more active, "brokering" role in future rounds. "I have asked the Committee to instigate a brokerage process to catalyse and guide the preparation of the strongest possible

applications, particularly in areas of clear economic, social or environmental importance to Australia."

Applications for the second round of centres will close on 3 July 1991, with the successful applicants being announced at the end of the year. A third round will take place in 1992.

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Funding under the program will reach $100 million a year (in 1990/91 dollars) in 1994/95, when all centres should be fully established.

Contact: Dr Andreas Dubs

Office of the Chief Scientist (06) 271 5953 (W) (06) 251 3329 (H)

Richard Eckersley Office of the Minister for S&T .

(06) 277 7280 (W) (06) 281 0648 (H)

How the Cooperative Research Centres will benefit. Australia

CRC for Aerospace Studies - Melbourne and Sydney

Main partners: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Sydney. University of NSW, Aerospace Technologies of Australia Pty Ltd, Hawker de Havilland Ltd

Benefits: The Centre will develop new and improved technologies for the manufacture of high value-added aerospace components, including those based on composite materials. This will help Australia to increase its $150m a year share of the rapidly

growing civil aerospace market.

CRC for Intelligent Decision Systems - Melbourne

Main partners: University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute, CSIRO, Aeronautical Research Laboratory, Australian Computing and Communications Institute.

Benefits: Drawing on Australia's capability in computer software design, the Centre will develop intelligent decision systems. Such systems are able to improve efficiency in a variety of industries, including transport, metal processing and

food processing.

CRC for Robust and Adaptive Systems - Canberra

Main partners: Australian National University, CSIRO, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, BHP

Benefits: The Centre will examine practical ways in which to apply leading-edge signal processing and control systems. Such applications have potential to increase the efficiency of our processing industries and telecommunications.

CRC for Eye Technology - Sydney

Major partners: University of NSW, CSIRO, Eycon Lens Laboratories Pty Ltd, Capricornia Contact Lens Pty Ltd.

Benefits: Australian manufacturers will be in a competitive position to sell contact lenses designed specifically for the 1.3 billion people in the Asian region. The Centre will also develop an "artificial cornea", which will help alleviate the worldwide shortage of corneas for transplant, and make Australia

a world leader in vision correction.

CRC for Tissue Growth and Repair - Adelaide

Major partners: University of Adelaide, CSIRO, Child Health Research Institute, Dairy Research and Development Corporation, GroPep Pty Ltd, Bresatec Ltd.

Benefits: The Centre will design and manufacture products for tissue growth and repair, such as for the treatment of burns and bone injuries. Its work is expected to play a key part in development of a new Australian pharmaceutical industry.

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CRC for Cellular Growth Factors - Melbourne

Major partners: The Walter and Eliza Hall Insititute of Medical Research, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, CSIRO, Biomolecular Research Institute, AMRAD Corporation.

Benefits: The Centre expects to develop hormone-like growth factors with possible application in treating diseases including cancer. These novel products would provide a basis of a new Australian pharmaceutical industry, with potential worldwide

earnings of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control - Sydney

Major partners: Universities of NSW, Western Sydney and Wollongong; CSIRO; Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, BHP, ICI, Memtec Ltd; NSW Waste Management Authority.

Benefits: New and improved solutions to waste disposal and pollution control, which could help secure Australia a share in the $2 billion worldwide environmental management market by the mid 1990s.

CRC for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment - Hobart

Major partners: University of Tasmania; Antarctic Division of the Department of Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories; CSIRO; Bureau of Mineral Resources

Benefits: Significant scientific backing of Australia's initiative to maintain Antarctica as a natural reserve and land of science.

CRC for Soil and Land Management - Adelaide

Major partners: CSIRO, SA Department of Agriculture, University of Adelaide.

Benefits: The Centre will develop sustainable and more productive land use management systems, establish guidelines for safe levels of pollutants in soil and foodstuffs and train the next generation of scientists and land managers in soil science.

CRC for Tropical Pest Management - Brisbane

Major partners: CSIRO, University of Queensland, Queensland Departments of Primary Industries and Lands.

Benefits: The Centre will develop "environmentally friendly" methods of controlling tropical plant and animal pests, such as replacing pesticides with biological controls.

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CRC for Plant Science - Canberra

Major partners: CSIRO, Australian National University, Biocem Australia Pty Ltd.

Benefits: The Centre will develop more productive and disease-resistant varieties for agriculture and horticulture. These should increase financial returns to the rural sector.

CRC for Temperate Hardwood Forestry - Hobart

Major partners: University of Tasmania, CSIRO, Tasmanian Forestry Commission, forest industry.

Benefits: The Centre will help improve the quality and yield of hardwood plantations and forest management practices. This should mean less hardwood imports, less reliance on native hardwood forests and improved pulp and paper-making technology.

CRC for Mining Technology and Equipment - Brisbane

Major partners: University of Queensland, CSIRO, Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Ltd.

Benefits: The Centre will help develop new and improved technologies for minerals processing and mining equipment. This will increase Australia's income from mining by "working smarter" and exporting sophisticated mining equipment


GK Williams CRC for Extractive Metallurgy - Melbourne

Major partners: University of Melbourne, CSIRO, Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Ltd.

Benefits; The Centre will develop new and better ways of extracting metals and other products from raw materials. New smelting processes will be developed to a stage where the industry can assess their commercial potential.

CRC for Australia's Petroleum Industry - Sydney, Melbourne

Major partners: Universities of NSW and Adelaide; CSIRO.

Benefits ? The Centre will help improve the success rate of oil and gas drilling in areas such as the Timor Sea, and of oil and gas recovery. A 5 per cent improvement would represent about $1 billion a year.


Attachment Name of Cooperative Research Centre Major University Location

A CRC for Aerospace Structures RMIT/Monash/Syd VIC/NS W

B CRC for Intelligent Decision Systems Melbourne VIC

C CRC for Robust and Adaptive Systems ANU ACT

D CRC for Eye Technology NSW NSW

E CRC for Tissue Growth and Repair Adelaide SA

F CRC for Cellular Growth Factors Melbourne VIC

G CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control NSW NSW

H CRC for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment Tasmania TAS

I CRC for Soil and Land Management Adelaide SA

J CRC for Tropical Pest Management Queensland QLD

K CRC for Plant Science ANU ACT

L CRC for Temperate Hardwood Forestry Tasmania TAS

M CRC for Mining Technology and Equipment Queensland QLD

N G K Williams CRC for Extractive Metallurgy Melbourne VIC

0 CRC for Australia’s Petroleum Industry NSW NSW


Cooperative Research Centre for Aerospace Structures

Location: Melbourne, Sydney


The Centre will help underpin the industry’s competitive advantage in forming risk-sharing ventures and strategic alliances with the world’s main aerospace companies.

It will do this by developing and adapting technologies used to design and manufacture sophisticated aerospace components.

Expected outcomes

Aerospace currently contributes more than $150m a year to Australia’s exports of elaborately transformed manufactures.

The Centre’s research offers the prospect of an increase in the export capability of the Australian industry, enabling it to achieve a more competitive position in the rapidly growing civil aerospace market, and to raise its export performance to higher levels.

Research program

The Centre’s initial research program will concentrate on aerospace structures which employ advanced fibre-reinforced composite construction. There will be three related, parallel research streams in the Centre.

One stream will develop better manufacturing procedures which will reduce the cost and improve the quality of composite components. Current composite manufacturing techniques place heavy reliance on manual methods, and require very costly inspection procedures to verify quality of manufacture. A more efficient and less hazardous work environment will result from this research.

Fibre-reinforced composite constructions have not yet been able to realise the full load-carrying potential of the constituent fibres. For example, carbon fibres in current aircraft designs achieve only about a quarter of their load capacity because of their sensitivity to in-service damage.

The second research stream will alleviate these limitations, and allow greater weight savings to be achieved by the application of composites on aircraft.

The method of construction of composite structures offers the capability to implant sensors in critical areas to continuously monitor structural integrity. In addition, actuators may be implanted, and these, in conjunction with the sensors, take automatic remedial action to rectify instabilities in

the stmcture.

The development of these “smart structures”, as they are called, is the third research stream, and is a long term research effort.


Cooperative arrangements

The Aerospace Structures Research Centre is a joint venture operation which draws upon the research, design and development strengths of the core organisations of Australian aeronautics, plus several other key organisations which contribute specialist capabilities. The Centre will operate at nodes in Sydney and Melbourne.

The two major airframe companies, Aerospace Technologies of Australia Pty Ltd (located in Melbourne) and Hawker de Havilland Ltd (located in both Sydney and Melbourne), are the key industry partners. Both companies have significant composites design and manufacturing capabilities.

All three university departments which offer aerospace education in Australia are participants. They are RMIT (Melbourne), the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales (both in Sydney), and they bring a considerable aerospace structures research capability to the Centre.

Monash University (Melbourne) will provide much of the materials engineering expertise which is essential to the development of advanced structures.

The Aeronautical Research Laboratory of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, located in Melbourne, is a national laboratory which will contribute an extensive experimental capability.

Educational program

The Centre will become a designated teaching institution at each of the four universities. Research candidates at Doctoral and Master degree level will conduct their research at industry and university facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, jointly supervised by university and industry staff. Attractive research scholarships will be provided by the Centre.

A new Master of Aerospace Engineering degree program will be implemented at the request of the industry partners, and senior industry engineers will participate in the teaching program. Students will be eligible to obtain credit for supervised design and project work undertaken at

industry design offices.


Dr Lincoln A. Wood Aerospace Engineering, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Telephone (03) 660 2942 (w) (03) 380 5628 (h) Fax (03) 639 0138 (w)


Location: Melbourne

Cooperative Research Centre for Intelligent Decision Systems


The Centre will develop intelligent decision technologies for improving operational management in industry and its supporting infrastructure. The research will develop generic technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness with specific applications in various industries. .

Expected outcomes

The Centre is expected to provide intelligent decision systems to improve productivity in food processing, metal processing, primary resource exploration, transport scheduling, energy production, meteorology and defence.

It will develop existing links between major commercial organisations and research bodies in Melbourne. The results have great potential to make many important industry sectors more competitive.

Research program

The research program will focus on intelligent control techniques for improving the efficiency and flexibility of processing methods; resource planning and scheduling methods for improving effectiveness and responsiveness; intelligent databases for better access to and categorisation of knowledge and data; and machine interpretation techniques for analysing and reasoning about

large amounts of data.

The aim of the research program is to generalise and integrate the work that is currently being performed within each of the participating research institutes. This will enable the current application-specific research to be unified, yielding new foundations and techniques that can be applied to a broad range of applications.

Intelligent control techniques: Control is the component of that determines the appropriate action that should be taken by a system embedded in a changing environment.

Intelligent control techniques provide the opportunity for substantially increased capabilities in high-level system management. Their development requires fundamental research in real-time reasoning systems, decision techniques and deliberation strategies, and distributed real-time


Planning and scheduling methods'. Planning and scheduling methods are the component of intelligent decision systems that seek optimal or feasible solutions to situations involving operational constraints that are difficult to model using conventional techniques.

There is increasing acceptance that constraint-satisfaction techniques are needed to address substantial applications such as those that occur in industrial operations. A set of tools will be developed that allows a scheduler to be readily constmcted for particular applications.

Intelligent databases: The current generation of computer systems do not provide adequate · assistance in the interpretation of the information they hold. To correct this, intelligent decision systems will incorporate two technologies that are crucial to the accomplishment of this goal.


These are deductive databases, which can reason efficiently with large amounts of data, and hypermedia databases, which provide sophisticated information retrieval facilities and user interfaces.

Machine Interpretation Techniques: Machine interpretation techniques are the component of intelligent systems that allow them to interact with their environment. The research programme proposed is one which both general and specialised data interpretation tasks are addressed.

Supporting Technology - High Performance computing: This program will apply high performance computing techniques to intelligent control systems, planning and scheduling systems, intelligent databases and machine interpretation techniques. -

Cooperative arrangements

The Centre’s research participants are the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (AAII), the University of Melbourne, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), the CSIRO Division of Information Technology (CSIRO), the Aeronautical Research Laboratory (ARL), and the Australian Computing and Communications Institute (ACCI)

Participating industrial organisations are the Australian Civil Aviation Authority, Carlton and United Breweries Limited, Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd., Computer Power Group Limited, and through ACCI, IBM Australia Ltd.

The University of Melbourne, RMIT, CSIRO and ACCI will be co-located.

The Centre will combine expertise in intelligent control techniques and planning and scheduling methods at AAII, intelligent databases at the University of Melbourne and RMIT, machine interpretation techniques at ΑΑΠ and the University of Melbourne and high performance computing at CSIRO. This expertise will be focused on applications provided by the industrial partners. ·

Educational program

The Centre will allow existing graduate-student programs to be expanded and will provide students with the opportunity to work on applied industry research. Provision has been made for a minimum of ten PhD students in the first five years. ·

Contact Mr Stephen Derrick Strategic Research Foundation

Telephone (03) 663 3077


Location: Canberra

Cooperative Research Centre for Robust and Adaptive Systems


Engineering research will be conducted into robust and adaptive signal processing and feedback control systems with the motivation of enhancing the application of these generic technologies in the industrial sector. A major focus is to develop engineering research training at several levels of these disciplines to meet national needs.

Expected outcomes

The Centre will develop more practical ways to apply sophisticated signal processing and control systems. Novel techniques in radar, sonar and telecommunications will have broad application in industrial processes as well as in fields such as radioastronomy and imaging.

A major output of the Centre will be an increased number of research engineers and research managers to meet the existing serious national shortage in industry, academe and government.

Through the operation of the research project, individuals would also be produced with enhanced research management skills, again addressing a national undersupply. . λ

In addition to the intellectual capital gain, the research itself is directly coupled to industry needs in the processing and telecommunications spheres. The national benefits here would be measurable in terms of increased efficiency, product quality improvement and the development of . new products and processes.

Research program

The primary thrust of the research of the Centre will be to develop more practical methodologies · for the application of sophisticated signal processing and control systems techniques, notably in the field of robust and adaptive systems.

These areas are of considerable industrial significance since they enable potentially very large improvements in efficiency and quality control. Signal processing research will focus on the development of novel techniques in Radar, Sonar and Telecommunications and will evolve to include industrial sensing applications.

The control systems research will include a focus on the applications side of very recent mathematical robustness theories, nonlinear control methods and the combination of robust and adaptive approaches. With these developments the two areas will be brought into greater contact.

Cooperative arrangements

Centre partners are:

• the Department of Systems Engineering and the Interdisciplinary Engineering Program at the Australian National University, Canberra ACT; .

• Communications Division, Electronic Warfare Division and Maritime Systems Division of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Salisbury SA;

• CSIRO Division of Radiophysics Signal and Imaging Technology Program, Sydney NSW; and


• BHP Research Melbourne Laboratories Process Control group, Vic.

The Centre programs utilise the theoretical skills of the ANU groups. The DSTO groups contribute their applications experience in the areas of radar, sonar and communications. DSTO also is providing a cash grant to the Centre.

The CSIRO Signal Technology and Imaging Program bring to the Centre expertise in signal processing applications and implementations in radioastronomy, sonar, telecommunications and imaging.

Industrial relevance, especially in the processing area, is brought by BHP whose role is to provide applications testbeds for new methods and practical motivation to research directions.

BHP is also providing a direct cash grant to the Centre. The mechanics of the Centre will revolve around the conduct of research projects involving partners, a team leader, postgraduate students, and Centre appointees. Each project will incorporate deliberate collaboration strategies including site visits, personnel exchanges between partners, and student outplacement.

Educational program

This is a critical feature of the Centre’s objectives - training engineering researchers and engineering research managers.

The primary thrust will be to enhance the existing and successful doctoral program at ANU by extending its size through the inclusion of Centre partners in the supervision role, the expansion of the research experience available to doctoral students and the widening of research scope and support for the students. The existence of the Centre facilitates these developments. Doctoral

students would be incorporated into the research project teams.

Additional educational opportunities would be developed through the employment of recent engineering graduates as engineers on specific research teams. This provides the means for their experiencing an engineering research environment first hand, and so value adds to their education before they head off to industry.

A national systems days program is proposed for the Centre which permits the establishment of a closer knit signal processing and control systems community in the country and which will help ensure the broader community benefit from the Centre. Under the scheme, researchers in these areas would be brought together periodically for national workshops at the Centre.


Dr Robert R. Bitmead Department of Systems Engineering, Australian National University

Telephone (06) 249 2461 (w), (06) 259 2826 (h).


Cooperative Research Centre for Eye Technology

Location: Sydney


The Centre will develop new methods of correcting and treating defects of vision and will involve Australian manufacturers in the design and production of materials, devices and procedures to meet the eyecare needs of the Asian region.

Expected outcomes

Some of the outcomes of the Centre are:

• contact lenses designed specifically for the Asian market. This will enable Australian manufacturers to develop a competitive position in the market of 1.3 billion people in the region needing vision correction;

• an “artificial cornea” material capable of replacing damaged and vision impeding corneal tissue, with the potential to be used in refractive surgery. Although corneal transplants are highly successful, donor corneas are expensive and in short supply and there is an urgent worldwide need for such a material;

• knowledge about vision correction and defects of the anterior eye which will make Australia a world leader in correction of these problems. '

Research program

The Centre will pursue research in four independent areas:

Biological Sciences The major project in this area is aimed at understanding and controlling ocular inflammation. Inflammation is a significant problem with contact lens wear and this research will be important to the design of better contact lens systems. Other projects include an in vitro eye model to study ocular physiology and investigation of methods of controlling the “dry eye” condition.

Biomaterials There are four interrelated biomaterials projects whose objectives are the understanding of the relationship between material properties and device performance and identifying the factors which control device biocompatibility. The projects are in materials testing, development of new materials and surfaces, development of an artificial cornea and investigation of tear, ocular and biomedical interactions.

Design &Engineering Three related projects seek to develop advanced techniques for the design, evaluation and manufacture of high performance contact lenses initially targeted at Asian markets. Other projects include application of CAD-CAM to contact lens design and production and the development of a computer model of the eye capable of predicting performance of ocular devices.

Clinical Sciences Research in the clinical sciences is essential to many of the Centre’s projects; for example testing of a new contact lens designs or materials. The objectives of the clinical sciences team are to improve techniques for detection, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the

eye and to allow more accurate monitoring of the ocular response to devices and procedures used for the treatment of disorders of the eye.


Cooperative arrangements

The Centre will be based at the University of New South Wales and will include researchers from the University’s Cornea and Contact Lens Research Unit, a world leader in contact lens related research, School of Optometry and Centre for Biomedical Engineering which has considerable experience in biomaterials research. The University’s School of Manufacturing and Industrial engineering will contribute to the design and manufacture of the new contact lens products and researchers from the Advanced Electronic Materials Group in the School of Physics will collaborate on a number of projects.

Other university-based participants are from the University of Western Sydney and the School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology where research strengths include specialist lens design for aberration correction. Expertise in the biochemistry of the ocular lens will be brought to the Centre through collaboration with researchers of the National Vision Research Institute.

The CSIRO Division of Biomolecular Engineering and the CSIRO Division of Chemicals and Polymers have collaborated for some time on surface treatments to promote various aspects of biocompatibility. The Centre will enable them to apply this expertise to ocular biomaterials applications.

Two Australian owned contact lens manufacturers, Eycon Lens Laboratories Pty Ltd and Capricomia Contact Lens Pty Ltd, will participate in one of the major projects. These companies both have experience in the design, manufacture and marketing of contact lenses. The other industry participants are Allergan Australia Pty Ltd, who also manufacture contract lenses in

Australia and Bausch and Lomb who have previously made extensive use of Australian optometric research expertise.

All projects are supported by an international network of collaborators who will provide additional expertise in specific areas.

Education program

A comprehensive program of Doctoral and Masters research and Honours Research Projects will be developed and funded through Post-doctoral Fellowships and Postgraduate and Undergraduate Studentships.

The goal is to develop a research career structure for science and engineering graduates of outstanding promise and to form links between these individuals and the Australian ophthalmic and biomaterials industries. An extensive program of continuing education for industry

researchers and practitioners in Australia and the Asian region generally will ensure effective knowledge transfer throughout the ophthalmic and biomaterials fields.


Professor Brien A Holden University of NSW

Telephone (02) 399 0358 (w) (02) 662 8692 (h)


Location: Adelaide

Cooperative Research Centre for Tissue Growth and Repair


The Centre will investigate the molecular mechanisms which control tissue growth and repair and design new growth factors and formulations for the treatment of bums and other surface wounds, gut diseases, polytrauma as well as bone and cartilage injuries. .

It will also establish a small-scale manufacturing facility to manufacture the recombinant proteins and a fractionation plant for the production of bioactive products from milk and cheese whey.

Expected outcomes

The research and commercial activities of the Centre will lead to the establishment of production plants for the manufacture of recombinant proteins and for the fractionation of whey.

Direct export revenue from these activities will contribute towards the Centre becoming financially self-sufficient. The expertise in research, development and commercialisation of products for tissue growth and repair is also expected to play a key part in the formation of a new Australian pharmaceutical industry.

Research program

The four research programs in the Centre are integrated vertically to cover the design, manufacture, evaluation and commercialisation of products for tissue growth and repair.

These programs are: '

1. Molecular modelling and genetic engineering, which aims to design proteins that have applications in tissue growth and repair and develop the means to produce these proteins in genetically engineered bacteria.

2. Production, a program that includes research on the fermentation of genetically engineered bacteria, the extraction of the designed proteins from those cells and their isolation in pure form. A second component of this program involves research into fractionation of natural proteins in cheese whey that help the repair of wounds, together with the construction of a pilot plant to

achieve this task. "

3. Cell culture applications, which focuses on research into the formulation of growth factors and other agents into mixtures that improve the growth of cells in culture and provides the basis of ointments for the treatment of bums and other surface wounds.

4. Strategic research in animals, a program that involves evaluation of the products designed and manufactured in the first two programs as therapeutic agents. This program is divided into four subprograms according to the tissue growth or repair function under study.


Cooperative arrangements

The research participants of the Centre are the University of Adelaide Departments of Biochemistry, Animal Sciences and Chemical Engineering, the CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition, the Child Health Research Institute (CHRI), the Dairy Research and Development Corporation (DRDC), GroPep Pty Ltd and Bresatec Ltd.

All research groups are either located on the University of Adelaide campus or nearby in North Adelaide and Thebarton. Additional financial support is being provided by the S.A. Government’s Health Commission and Department of Industry, Trade and Technology.

The Centre will draw on genetic engineering skills in the Department of Biochemistry, production expertise with recombinant proteins in GroPep, Bresatec, the Chemical Engineering Department and CSIRO as well as with milk extraction skills in the DRDC and CSIRO.

Research directed towards the formulation of the products for tissue growth and repair applications as well as evaluation studies in animals will be carried out in CSIRO, CHRI and the Department of Animal Sciences. Vertical integration of this research and development will be completed through the commercialisation of Centre products by GroPep, Bresatec and the DRDC.

Educational program

Centre staff will join with University personnel to develop and present new Biotechnology courses at the Masters degree level and through short courses. In addition it is expected to train 20 students concurrently in PhD programs with fellowships for half being provided by the Centre.

Contact ·

Dr. F. John Ballard Chief Research Scientist CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition

Phone (08) 224 1835(w) (08) 272 1421(h) Fax (08) 224 1841


Location: Melbourne

Cooperative Research Centre for Cellular Growth Factors


The Centre aims to discover new hormone-like factors that promote the growth of specialised cells, particularly white blood cells and nerve cells.

These hormones, synthetic analogues based on their structure, or (in particular cases) inhibitors of the hormones, will be tested for their usefulness in human diseases including cancer, wound healing, immune deficiency syndromes, and other diseases in which cellular growth is disturbed, or needs to be enhanced.

Expected outcomes

The Centre is expected to form the basis of an emerging biotechnological and pharmaceuticals industry in Australia. We expect to develop several novel growth factors that will be produced in Australia and will be marketed world-wide.

Experience with growth factors now being marketed suggests that as well as improving the health of Australians, the program could generate income for Australia of several hundred million dollars a year.

Research program

Cells known or believed to secrete such novel growth factors will be grown in the laboratory, and the surrounding tissue culture fluid will be chemically analysed using the most modem techniques. If growth factors are present, they will be purified through protein chemistry.

The new factors will then be structurally analysed and, using modem genetic engineering, mass-produced. The activity of these genetically engineered molecules will then be investigated in animal models of human disease states.

If a new growth factor is shown to be active in animal trials, the pathway is open for further development and evaluation in human trials.

“Second generation” factors will be designed, based on the detailed three-dimensional shapes of the original factors. As a result, it is expected that new injectable substances, and even orally active compounds (dmgs), with improved properties, may become available to improve human health care.

Cooperative arrangements

The Centre participants include:

• The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI, the Department of Medical Biology of The University of Melbourne);

• The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR, Melbourne Branch);

• CSIRO Division of Biomoleciilar Engineering (Melbourne);

• The Biomolecular Research Institute (BRI, Melbourne); and

• AMRAD Corporation Limited.


The Centre will draw on the strengths of WEHI and LICR in basic research on growth factors, the capacities of CSIRO and AMRAD to mass produce recombinant growth factors, and the skills of LICR to conduct clinical trials in conjunction with Melbourne University teaching hospitals.

The BRI will determine the three-dimensional shapes of growth factors and the AMRAD Corporation will be the commercial partner guiding projects to commercialisation.

Over 30 scientific staff from the partners will contribute to the program and a further 20 new positions will be created by the Centre.

Educational program „

The Centre will provide advanced training for the best young Australian scientists, providing a comprehensive PhD program within the University of Melbourne.

Students will have full access to all of the intellectual and physical resources of the Centre and be trained in state-of-the-art science, and commercial development of research findings.

Further and even more sophisticated training will be provided to Postdoctoral Fellows, particularly outstanding young Australian scientists currently expatriate. The important role of technicians and engineers in modem biotechnology will be enhanced by special training programs

in the various high technology fields of the five partners.


Dr Margaret Brumby The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Telephone (03)345 2555 Fax (03) 347 0852


Location: Sydney

Cooperative Research Centre for Waste Management and Pollution Control


The Centre will harness the skills of the partners to solve nationally important problems in waste management and pollution control. It will develop new approaches which will lessen the threat to the environment caused by urban, industrial and agricultural wastes and in the process establish the basis for an environmental management industry in Australia.

Expected outcomes

The Centre will develop new and potentially commercialisable technologies and equipment for waste management and pollution control. Estimates suggest that Australia could secure a $2b annual share of the world market for environmental management in the mid 1990s.

Through its unique combination of proven researchers, access to major waste treatment facilities for test and demonstration purposes and industries with the capability to successfully commercialise technology, the Centre will be in a position to make a significant contribution to this target, and to enhancing Australia’s lead in liquid waste management.

The Centre will also help solve Australia’s waste disposal and pollution control problems which presently inhibit environmentally sustainable development.

Research programs

Key program areas to be addressed will be:

• Waste reduction/minimisation;

• Sewage and water quality;

• Site remediation;

• Instrumentation and monitoring;

• Waste management and pollution control in intensive rural industries;

• On-site treatment of liquid wastes;

• Safe disposal of wastes as solids;

• Odours and atmospheric emissions; and

• Social ecology of waste management.

Cooperative arrangements

Major partners in the proposal are:

• The University of New South Wales

• The University of Western Sydney '

• The University of Wollongong


• CSIRO Division of Water Resources


• Australian Defence Industries

• BHP Company Ltd

• Brambles Ltd.

• IBM Australia Ltd.

• ICI Australia Ltd

• Memtec Ltd.

• Sydney Water Board

• NSW Waste Management Authority

• NSW Public Works Department

• NSW Department of Water Resources

Victorian and WA based environmental authorities have also expressed interest in involvement.

Research programs identified by the partnership will be staffed by full-time secondees and be conducted at one of the five research nodes and well as in the field.

The key to the success of the Centre will be the ability to draw on the wisdom of public authorities to identify areas of potential R&D interest, the long standing research capability of the research groups involved in the areas of waste management and pollution control, and the ability, through the cooperative participation of major industries, to work new approaches and new technology up to a stage where they can be implemented on the full scale.

Educational program

Research programs conducted by the Centre will include 41 postgraduate research students. A further 112 students per year will be trained in waste management and pollution control technology in postgraduate coursework degrees. The Centre will be the focus for a new undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering.

Graduates from these courses will provide the human resources for a major Australian environmental industry.

An important feature of the Centre’s activities will be the production of a regular newsletter and the provision of short courses for industry and the general public. The Centre will see itself as a resource which the public can approach for advice on waste management and pollution control.


Professor Chris Fell University of New South Wales

Telephone (02) 697 2700 (w) (02) 498 5626 (h) Fax (02)313 6805


Cooperative Research Centre for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment

Location: Hobart


The Centre will conduct research on the environmental management of Antarctica, the use of Antarctica and its surrounding oceans as a fairly uncorrupted monitor of change in the global environment, and the role of Antarctica and the southern oceans in controlling climate and environmental change.

Expected outcomes

The Centre will provide:

• Significant scientific backing of Australia’s political initiatives to maintain Antarctica as a “natural reserve - land of science”;

• A critical mass to ensure Australia’s lead in international efforts to understand the crucial roles of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in global environmental change;

• A critical mass to promote commercial and industrial development of various technologies associated with polar-region activity and research;

• A major national and international post-graduate training ground for the disciplines of polar research; and

• Greatly expanded assessment of the biological (and commercial biological) resources of the Southern Ocean. .

Research program

The subprograms of the Centre will characterize the oceanic and atmospheric circulations of the region, their interaction with sea ice and the continental ice sheet, their relation to global environmental change and their relation to biological productivity.

They will establish baselines of natural variability from geologic and paleo-environmental records both onshore and offshore Antarctica, assess the extent of present environmental and biologic change, examine the impact of human activity and provide background for development of strategies of Antarctic management. They will include research on the political and legal aspects of that management. .

Cooperative arrangement

The participating organisations include the Antarctic Division of the Department of Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories; the Division of Oceanography of CSIRO; the Bureau of Meteorology; the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics; and the University of Tasmania.

The Centre will consist of 64 staff of whom 37 will be contributed by the participating organisations. Most will be sited in a new well-equipped building in a central position on the campus of the University of Tasmania. There will be 20 professional and 3 support staff relocated into the Centre from the mainland states.


The Centre brings together a critical mass of multi-disciplinary expertise and resources which will be unique in the world and for the first time will allow a serious Australian attack on the whole subject. It will make much greater use of facilities such as the new ice-breaking “Aurora Australis” and other research vessels, the new Tasmanian satellite reception station, and the overall logistics facilities associated with Australia’s operations in Antarctica.

Educational program

The Centre will greatly expand the current post-graduate research training activities in the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies within the University of Tasmania. It will provide a focus for new and relevant undergraduate courses within the overall University, and will have as part of its brief the training of existing staff of the participating organisations in the environmental management of Antarctica.


Professor Garth W. Paltridge University of Tasmania

Telephone (002) 20 2971 (w) (002) 23 3075(h)


Location: Adelaide

Cooperative Research Centre for Soil and Land Management


The Cooperative Research Centre for Soil and Land Management will provide the knowledge and expertise to develop ecologically sustainable systems of land use and to reduce the pollution of soils in urban and rural areas. -

Expected Outcomes

The Centre will have three functions; research, training and information transfer. The research programs will lead to land management systems which are sustainable and maintain or improve productivity. It will help solve problems of pollution, acidity, salinity, structural decline and plant root diseases.

The Centre will establish the basis for guidelines for safe levels of pollutants in soil and foodstuffs. Knowledge gained will assist in the rehabilitation of polluted urban soils.

The Centre will train the next generation of scientists and land managers in soil science. The emphasis on the transfer of technology to land managers will ensure that knowledge generated in the Centre is rapidly adopted, and will assist in achieving the goals set for the Decade of Land Care.

Research programs

There will be three research programs within the Centre:

Soil Structure and fertility Sustained food production depends upon maintaining or improving the physical, chemical and biological components of soil. The decline in soil structure and fertility is a major national

problem. The Centre will develop predictive models for organic matter in different soils through Australia under different farming systems. This will enable farmers to modify their management to develop sustainable farming systems, and produce more marketable products.

The effects of cultivation and rotation on the organic matter and structure of soils will be studied to reduce erosion and increase productivity. A program on soil acidity, sodicity and the movement of clay through soils will help solve some of the major causes of land degradation in Australia. Research on earthworms will explain how they improve soils and will explore methods of increasing the earthworm activity to improve pasture and crop production.

Soil Pollution and Rehabilitation Pollution of soils with toxic elements occurs in both urban and rural areas and raises significant public concern because of the effects of these elements on human health.

Hence, there is a project within the centre to develop a scientific basis for establishing regulatory guide-lines for safe levels of pollutants in soil and food. Another project will study factors responsible for the movement of pollutants through soil. The third project will study the safety and use of composted urban waste and sewage sludge.


Soil Biotechnology The Centre will address the problem of identifying and quantifying bacteria and fungi important to plant production, using DNA “finger-printing” and genetic engineering.

Research will be conducted on the biological control of root diseases using selected fungi and bacteria. This presents an ecologically desirable way of improving crop and pasture production.

Cooperative arrangements

The Centre will involve staff of the CSIRO Division of Soils, the South Australian Department of Agriculture and the Soil Science Department of the University of Adelaide co-located on the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide. .

The core staff of the centre will comprise 18 CSIRO scientists, 8 University faculty staff and 4 South Australian Department of Agriculture scientists, with support staff from each organisation.

Educational program Australia is currently deficient in well-trained soil and land management professionals, especially in relation to the Decade of Land Care. The Centre will give under-graduate courses in Soil Science in several University departments and special Masters’ Courses and graduate Certificate programs to meet community needs.

The breadth of expertise in the University Department of Soil Science in the Centre will be increased through the involvement of scientists from CSIRO and the Department of Agriculture which will ensure high quality courses and the production of well-trained scientists and land


The Centre will provide a new and greatly enriched training environment, and the presence of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists will stimulate research and provide a world class Centre for post-graduate studies.

Communication and Technology Transfer Program

Major emphasis will be placed upon communicating research results to land managers. This program will integrate the results of research on soil and land management and provide them to rural and community groups, environmental scientists, engineers and policy-makers. A two-way communication process will be established to ensure clients have an input into the research of the Centre.

The Centre will conduct and co-ordinate special courses in soil and land management to meet community and client needs.


Dr A Rovira Chief Research Scientist CSIRO Division of Soils

Telephone (08)274 9311 Fax (08)338 1636


Location: Brisbane

Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management


The Centre will conduct an integrated program of research, business and activities to develop environmentally friendly and cost effective strategies for pest and weed management in the tropics. .

Expected outcomes

Improved strategies and tactics for managing the major insect and weed pests of the Australian Tropics. Training of young scientists in key areas of entomological research and its implementation. Long term replacement of pesticides with biologically based methods of control.

Research program

The Centre will establish 4 areas of research:

Insect Identities: Who’s Guilty? will identify and describe the pest species, their biology and their tropical significance, and provide the firm foundation for work on:-

Insect Connections: What’s Going On ? which will measure damage caused by pests, investigate the diverse cues used in host selection by biological control agents, and provide the basic ecological information for:-

Synthesis - Working The Evidence which will develop population models of both pest and beneficial insects, and interface these with risk-assessment packages for making management decisions, an essential element for:-

Application and Implementation - Making The Changes which will provide ownership to industry by involving end-users in collaborative identification of problems, and participatory setting of the research agenda. This is a unique feature of the applied entomological research of the Centre.

Cooperative arrangements

The Centre combines the extensive entomological expertise of four Brisbane based institutions - the CSIRO Division of Entomology (at Longpocket), The University of Queensland’s Department of Entomology (at St Lucia), the Queensland Department of Primary Industries Entomology Branch (at Longpocket) and the Alan Fletcher Research Station of the Queensland Department of

Lands (at Sherwood).

The Centre will draw on world leading research in plant and insect biological control of the CSIRO and APRS, insect population modelling of CSIRO and UQ, the fruit fly research of the QDPI and their practical experience in the management of a wide range of pests.

The Centre will be based on the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland which has Australia’s only Department of Entomology, which produces graduates with a comprehensive • education in Entomology.


Educational program

The Centre’s research program will provide opportunities to train personnel to the PhD and research Masters levels in areas which have been largely neglected in Australian Universities due to a lack of suitable supervisors.

The Centre will allocate funds for post-graduate stipends, as well as attracting industry funds for training personnel in key areas identified by industry. Diploma and Masters coursework in Tropical Pest Management will be developed for students from South-East Asia, the South Pacific and the growing number of agribusiness consultants.

A suite of educational pest management computer assisted Learning programs will be developed to get the Centres ideas for improved pest management across to students, farmers and the public.

Contact Dr Myron P. Zalucki Entomology Department University of Queensland

Telephone (07) 365 2194 (w) (07) 273 2601 (h) Fax (07)365 1199


Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Science

Location: Canberra


To provide Australia with a premier research and training centre in plant science that will exploit the new developments of biology to design and engineer plants for future agricultural, industrial and environmental needs.

Expected outcomes

The Centre will design and develop more productive cultivars in agriculture and horticulture, introduce new genes to help commercially important plants resist disease and pests, use plants as factories to make high-value products, and adapt agricultural crops to harsh Australian environments.

It will attract more school leavers into plant science and increase the number of graduate trainees and postgraduates.

The Centre will be closely linked to biotechnology, plant breeding and other agricultural and food-producing concerns in order to commercialise the Centre’s research results.

Research program

The Centre will have three main research programs. The common theme is to identify, characterise and exploit genes that control plant processes.

Research into plant development and product quality aims to:

• develop the capacity to modify plant architecture and control the timing of developmental processes in plants such as flowering; and

• modify existing plant products and developing high-value products for plant and plant cell production systems. ·

Plant growth and performance research explores the processes that limit growth and aims to manipulate photosynthetic processes to improve the performance of agricultural species.

Plant disease mechanisms and prevention. Researchers aim to design novel resistance strategies for plants so as to reduce crop losses and also decrease reliance on agricultural chemicals.

The Centre will integrate research and training projects which range from new discoveries in molecular biology all the way to analysis of field crops. The ability to span this continuum of plant research and development will make this Plant Science Centre on of the most effective in the world.

Cooperative arrangements

The Centre’s participants include the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, the Research School of Biological Sciences, the Faculty of Science of The Australian National University and the Biotechnology company Biocem Australia. ·


All of these are housed close to one another in Canberra, thus allowing ready development of the Centre’s new research programs alongside strong existing research and development groups. New laboratories will house collaborators from CSIRO, the ANU and Biocem as well as new scientific staff recmited for the Centre.

Educational program

The Centre will develop a significant national role in attracting and training plant scientists as school, tertiary and postgraduate levels. It will exploit the advantage of having the strongest concentration of plant scientists in Australia to promote plant science at school level, by introducing new technical, undergraduate and MSc coursework programs and by offering scholarships to undertake post bachelor and PhD research projects.


Professor B E S Gunning

Telephone (06) 249 3841 Fax (06) 249 0758

Dr W J Peacock

Telephone (06) 246 5250 Fax (06) 246 5530


Location: Hobart

Cooperative Research Centre for Temperate Hardwood Forestry


To provide the research base necessary to support the expansion of hardwood (particularly eucalypt) plantation forestry in Australia with its potential social, economic and environmental benefits.


Benefits flowing from the Centre’s activities will include sound long-term tree improvement strategies, development of commercially valuable genetic material including more insect resistant trees, sustainable management practices for high yield forestry, environmentally acceptable methods for pest and disease management and improved pulp and paper making technology.

These outcomes will help provide the basis for a significant expansion of hardwood plantation forestry in Australia and will assist the international competitiveness of Australian forest industry.

Research program

The research programs of the Centre will include:

• advanced tree breeding and propagation techniques to enable the development and early use of elite genetic material selected for high yield and wood quality in plantations;

• improved silvicultural management to make the most efficient use of available water and nutrients;

• prediction of stand growth and development using site and environmental variables to enable efficient planning and economic management of plantation programs;

• exploitation of natural resistance and biological control strategies for pest and disease management; and ,

• more efficient and environmentally friendly methods of pulp and paper production.

Cooperative arrangements

The Centre participants include the CSIRO Division of Forestry, Hobart; the University of Tasmania, Hobart; the Forestry Commission Tasmania (State Government) and forest industry through Australian Newsprint Mills, Forest Resources and Associated Pulp and Paper Mills.

The Centre will link the combined basic, strategic and applied research skills of these organisations. The major activities of the Centre will be located in association with the new CSIRO Division of Forestry laboratory on the University of Tasmania campus in Hobart. Construction of this laboratory will be completed by the end of 1991 .


Education program

A strong post-graduate education program will be developed with particular focus on tree genetics and forest resource protection. There are currently only limited opportunities for training in these areas in Australia. In addition, Centre staff will participate in teaching a specialist honours course

in Forest Ecology. CSIRO and industry personnel will cooperate closely with the University in these programs.


Dr G.A. Kile

Telephone Fax

(002) 201432 (w) (002)281370 (h) (002)201419


Location: Brisbane

Cooperative Research Centre for Mining Technology and Equipment


The Centre will develop innovative mining and mineral processing techniques and supporting equipment technologies that the Australian mineral industries will need over the next 10-15 years in order to increase their international competitiveness, productivity and equipment export potential. "

This effort will be based on research into the characteristics and properties of rock masses which are fundamental to all subsequent mining and mineral treatment activities. A vigorous undergraduate and postgraduate training component will be developed within the Centre.

Expected outcomes

• A better understanding of the geological and engineering properties of rocks which are important in mining and processing;

• Better mining and mineral beneficiation processes and procedures;

• New and improved technologies for equipment used in mining and mineral processing; and

• A new generation of highly skilled professionals dedicated to using the latest technologies to solve the mining, mineral processing and environmental problems of the Australian minerals industry.

Research program

The basic research programs of the Centre involve:

• fracture mechanics research aimed at developing improved methods of both fragmenting rock masses and at inhibiting the fracture of highly stressed rock in mining situations;

• developing improved methods of characterising the physical properties of rock masses in three dimensions using techniques such as 3D-vision systems and ground probing radar tomography; and

• development of powerful computer models which better simulate the rock mining, crashing, blasting and comminution environments.

These basic research programs are aimed at developing new and improved mining and mineral processing systems with a particular emphasis on the development of the next generation of innovative mining systems and equipment with a view to increasing the productivity and safety of the Australian minerals industry.

Cooperative arrangements

The key Centre participants are the University of Queensland’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), the CSIRO’s Divisions of Geomechanics and of Mineral and Process Engineering and the Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Limited (AMIRA), together with elements of the CSIRO Division of Manufacturing Technology, the University of Queensland’s Departments of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Electron Microscope Centre and The Bryan Mining Geology Unit. .

Additional input will be drawn from the Queensland Government Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station and the Australian Coal Industry Research Laboratories at Redbank.


The Centre will link the expertise in fracture mechanics, computational mechanics and mineral beneficiation within the CSIRO with the blasting and comminution expertise of the JKMRC, working closely with the Australian mineral industry formally represented in the Centre by AMIRA, to produce the next generation of mining technology and equipment for the Australian

industry. The contributions to the Centre from the Australian minerals industry through AMIRA are estimated to increase to $2m per annum over 3 years.

Educational program

The Centre will be deeply involved in postgraduate training to provide the technical specialists that Australian industry and research establishments presently lack.

Such postgraduate training will be modelled to a large extent on the JKMRC program of research and training which has been so successful over the past 30 years; this approach places a strong emphasis on the close association between research work and interaction with industry.

The Centre for Mining Technology and Equipment provides an extension of this model in that CSIRO research staff can become intimately involved in the supervision of students from the University of Queensland.

Moreover, the involvement of the W.H. Bryan Mining Geology Unit of the University of Queensland in the Centre means that a close synergy is developed in training from exploration, through mining to mineral beneficiation; such aspects are segmented and separated in traditional training establishments.


Dr Bruce Hobbs CSIRO Division of Geomechanics

Telephone (03) 881 1285 (w) (03) 842 6151 (h) Fax (03) 803 2052


Location: Melbourne

G.K. Williams Cooperative Centre for Extractive Metallurgy


The Centre will conduct world class strategic research to strengthen Australia’s position in extractive metallurgy science and technology. It will educate the future metallurgists and researchers required by Australian industry.

Expected outcomes

This proposal will help to develop new and better ways of extracting metals and other high-value products from raw materials. It builds on existing arrangements between the GK Williams Centre and other cooperative partners.

Its training of postgraduate and undergraduate students will also benefit mineral processing companies in Australia.

Technologies with wide application in Australian smelting operations will be developed for handling molten metals and slags and for injecting solids into molten metals and slags.

New processes for adding value to Australian resources through smelting will be developed to the stage where industry can assess their potential for commercialisation. The quality of practising metallurgists will be raised through continuing education courses, and future reseafchers for industry will be trained as postgraduates in the Centre.

Research program .

Research will be undertaken in four areas of long term importance to the minerals industry.

Downstream Processing o f Australian Minerals: New processes for extracting metals and other high-value products from Australian raw materials will be developed. The research will apply high temperature physical and chemical techniques to design novel processing routes, and promising methods will be tested in the laboratory before moving to pilot-plant scale. Industry will be involved from concept development through to commercialisation.

Smart Instrumentation: Modem smelting processes use small, intense vessels to achieve rapid reactions. Accurate control is critical and there is need for on-line instrumentation and control. The research will develop instruments for measuring and controlling the flow and composition of molten metals and slags.

Sophisticated experimental and mathematical techniques will be used to analyse the heating, cooling and flow characteristics of these turbulent, corrosive, high temperature liquids. A thorough knowledge of the behaviour of materials for constructing these instruments, in such aggressive liquids, is also essential.

Injection o f Solid Powders into Molten Metals and Slags: Adding materials to smelting vessels by injecting powders has the advantage of high efficiency and low pollution. Present technology is crude and research in this program will develop and improve the techniques through . investigating the penetration, capture and reaction of particles injected into molten liquids.


The Chemistry o f Molten Phases: The ability to predict the properties of molten metals, alloys and slags and their reactions is the foundation for developing new processes and increasing the efficiency of existing processes. The research will combine mathematical modelling with highly controlled laboratory experimentation to develop predictive computer programs for use in other projects of the Centre and for direct use by industry.

Cooperative arrangements

The participants in the Centre are the University of Melbourne, Department of Chemical Engineering, the CSIRO Division of Mineral and Process Engineering and the Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Limited (AMIRA).

Both the University and CSIRO have strong high temperature processing groups involved in extractive metallurgy research. Combination of the fundamental research skills of the University, strategic research and commercialisation skills of the CSIRO and project management skills of AMIRA will ensure a well managed and coordinated approach to the development and improvement of processes for the Australian minerals industry.

The minerals industry will be involved at Board level through AMIRA and through an Advisory Committee made up of senior mineral industry managers, and will provide in excess of $5.0m to the Centre over the next five years.

Educational program

Twenty-five postgraduate students will work on the programs of the Centre over the next five years. They will be located at the CSIRO and University, and CSIRO researchers will be active in their supervision. .

Final year students from the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology will work on aspects of projects in the Centre. One major continuing-education course on an aspect of extractive metallurgy will be conducted each year by University, CSIRO and invited overseas experts.


Professor John Rankin, Department of Chemical Engineering University of Melbourne ·

Telephone (03) 344 7494 (w) (03) 842 1350 (h) Fax (03) 344 4153


Cooperative Research Centre for Australia’s Petroleum Industry

Location: Sydney, Melbourne


This centre focuses on Australia’s petroleum exploration and production industry.

Its research will be directed toward optimizing the location and development of Australia’s scarce petroleum reserves and toward unlocking reserves whose viability depends on the development of new technology.

It will be Australia’s major training centre for the industry.

Expected outcomes

Over recent years, only about 5 per cent of exploration wells in the Timor Sea have located viable reserves. The Centre’s research is designed to improve this success rate with a direct saving in exploration costs ($3m-$6m/hole) and with increased confidence leading to greater investment. Similarly, the work on horizontal drilling will reduce the $200 000/day time lost due to offshore

drilling problems and will enable field developments to proceed with confidence.

A large percentage of oil and gas is not recoverable using current technology, with often 50 to 70 per cent left in the ground. The research directed at understanding our difficult reservoirs will improve the recovery rates, with only a 5 per cent improvement equating to about $1 billion per year.

The success of coal bed methane research is expected to be critical to the establishment of a major new industry centred in NSW and Queensland and which may be worth hundreds of million dollars per year.

Research programs

The Centre’s research programs are built around world class scientists. Six research programs are designed to address the following issues which are especially important for Australia.

Knowledge of the way in which oil and gas have originally developed and subsequently migrated to form significant accumulations will have a major impact on our exploration success rate.

Similarly, the resolution of problems associated with seismic exploration, and especially interpretation of the data, will lead to greater confidence in selecting targets for exploratory drilling.

The basic understanding derived from this research will be applied to analyses of major oil and gas basins, such as those in the highly prospective North West Shelf/Timor Sea region.

Plans to develop fields in this area include the drilling of horizontal production wells at depths approaching 3000m. However, these fields are close to the edge of the Indo-Australia plate with consequent difficult rock stress conditions. Research will be directed toward understanding and developing the technology to allow horizontal drilling to proceed with confidence.


Other research will be directed toward understanding and mathematically describing properties of reservoirs and the flow characteristics of water/oil/gas mixtures in reservoirs so that the optimum production strategies can be derived. Associated research will be aimed at increasing the amounts of oil and gas recovered and minimizing the amounts left behind.

There is a vast amount of methane gas within the coal seams of Eastern Australia. A special research program will be devoted to developing the technology to extract the methane to realize a major new energy resource and to simultaneously improve safety within coal mines. It will help

launch a new industry for Australia.

Cooperative arrangements .

The Centre is an unincorporated joint venture between the University of Adelaide’s National Centre for Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, the University of NSW’s Centre for Petroleum Engineering and CSERO’s Divisions of Exploration Geoscience and Geomechanics.

It draws on the special fields of expertise of the participants to create for the first time in Australia the breadth of skills and capabilities needed to address the major research issues.

These research programs also support the strategies of the Governments of NSW and SA, who are providing significant financial support to the Centre.

Educational program

A major education and training program will be integrated into the research activities and is designed to have a major impact on postgraduate training with plans to operate with 12 Masters students, 20 PhD students and 10 Postdoctoral Fellows. It also has programs designed to keep the industry aware of the latest in emerging technologies.


Dr Adrian Williams CSIRO Division of Geomechanics

Telephone: (03) 881 1289(w) (03) 836 3828(h)