Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CRC bid is successful

For those that have not already heard our efforts to continue the CRC for another six years has been successful.

We received the much awaiting phone call yesterday morning and it was confirmed that we would receive funding for six more years and 93% of the total cash we sought would be provided.

Being successful has taken two years and the input of many people. Now we have six months to pull together the program and finalise the signing of agreements.

I have received countless emails congratulating us on the successful bid. There is too many to respond to individually. Hopefully this blog will be read by all and I thank everyone for their kind words and look forward to catching up over the coming months as we prepare for the 1 July start.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview completed

Yesterday the team completed the next stage of the bidding process by completing the two hour interview.

It started with a 30 minute powerpoint (presented by John Lovett and myself) and was followed by 90 minutes of questions from a panel.

The panel comprised three members of the CRC Committee plus two technical experts. There was also a number of observers from DIISR. The questioning covered the content of our research programs including some detailed questions on two of our exemplars. The relationship with the new National Biosecurity Flagship was addressed in some detail and there was several questions in relation to the legacy of the CRC after six years.

The team performed well with everyone getting to respond to at least one question. In addition to John and I, the team members were Martin Barlass, Paul De Barro, Jon Durham, Andrew Inglis, Bill Roberts, Shashi Sharma, Alison Stewart and Ruth Wallace. The last week has been busy for the whole team in preparing for the interview and I thank them for their committment to the CRC.

I would also like to thank many other people who have contributed to the bidding process over the last 12 months.

The decision should be announced before Christmas and if it is similar to last year we may hear in the first week of December. We have done as much as possible to be successful this year and given the commitment from our participants across industry, government and academia, the level of cash committed and our international reach we should be optimistic.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Projects submitted

The next stage of the bid process was completed at lunchtime today. We submitted the four exemplar projects. The exemplars provide the CRC program with research proposals that illustrate the high level of research that will be undertaken and the calibre of researchers and organisations involved in the bid.

The four projects cover severe weather events and the role they play in spreading pests (early warning), improved bacterial diagnostics (better detection), a new non chemical alternative for killing insects in grain (safeguarding trade) and improved community engagement (secure future).

It has been a hectic two weeks getting these completed and polished ready for submission with each project allowed to only cover five pages (project text) plus refs and cvs. Thanks to everyone that has contributed to the process.

Next step is the interview (7-9 Nov). We still have not heard the exact date. The core team has started preparing the ppt for interview.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Progression to interview

After a tense two months we have finally been informed today that our bid has progressed to the next and final stage. The competition as usual has been strong and only 10 of the 26 applications submitted have made it to the interview stage. A formal letter will be sent to us in the coming days giving further detail of the interview date which will occur between 7-9 November in Canberra.

In the next two weeks we will need to finalise and submit the four exemplar projects which the program team have been working on.

I remain optimistic that we have a very strong bid that will hopefully get us to the winning post.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

rebid submitted

After a busy week we hit the submit button at 1:55pm today. The core team are very happy with the flavour of the final bid. We believe it has a more compelling case than in 2010.

We will hear at the end of August if we have made it through to stage 2.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to complete the submission.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rebid almost due for submission

The countdown to submission of the rebid is now in the final month. Our target is to submit on 30 June and we are confident this will be achieved.

The Participant Committee met yesterday in Melbourne and were provided with an update of progress. The support continues to be strong and the approach being taken was endorsed. Some useful comments were made on the text and these will be incorporated as we complete the full proposal. I would like to thank those that attended yesterday for their contributions and continued support. As of today we have received the majority of participant declarations and are hopeful of received the remaining few including DAFF by 15 June.

The Board will meet next week in NSW and the bid draft will be tabled for their comment and endorsement.

Compiling a bid is a very time consuming process and it would not be achieved without the input from many people. The core team of John, Martin, Max, Bill, Nick and myself appreciate the efforts made by others in assisting us with the process.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our innovative research is rewarded

On Wednesday 18 May our CRC was awarded an innovation excellence prize by the CRC association. The award is determined by a panel of innovation experts. With 42 CRCs currently funded it is feather in our cap to receive the award.

The award was given to our digital diagnostics project led by Gary Kong. The dedication of Gary and his team has led to the delivery and adoption of innovative research that has made a real contribution to Australia's plant biosecurity system.

While the team involved was large I would particularly like to acknowledge the considerable contribution made by Michael Thompson to the project.

The project involved the following organisations; CSIRO, the Queensland Government (DEEDI), the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Museum Victoria, Plant Health Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Chevron, Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry New Zealand, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the Department of Agriculture Thailand. The project has also been well supported by the US Department of Agriculture.

Let’s hope the re-bid is successful as there is still a lot that can be done to build a truly international digital diagnostic system.

The video produced for the awards night is available on our website.