$21m grant to boost to infrastructure productivity

Improving infrastructure productivity through reduced cost of concrete construction, improved durability and sustainability are among the goals of a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) receiving $21 million in Australian Government grant funds.

The industry led SmartCrete CRC has generated a further $69 million in cash and inkind contribution from industry, government agencies, peak industry and professional bodies and researchers.

In making the announcement Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews noted that the SmartCrete CRC was very much aligned to the CRC program objectives of improving competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries.

“Concrete is so essential to our building industry and public infrastructure projects that even small cuts in cost and increases in productivity will have positive impacts on the sector and the community”, Minister Andrews said.

The SmartCrete CRC goal is to ensure the long-term viability of vital existing and future concrete infrastructure through improvement in cost, application and durability, while becoming a catalyst for a step change in whole of life asset management and the sustainability of the supply chain, including reducing our carbon footprint.

The SmartCrete CRC is a truly industry led collaborative research partnership bringing together the leading industry, research, agencies and associations from across Australia and globally, to focus on innovation covering Engineered Solutions, Asset Management and Sustainability.

Core research partner Macquarie University will host the SmartCrete CRC with research projects focussed on improved productivity, applying smart sensing in predictive asset management and the use of recycled materials in the supply chain.

Reflecting the close working relationship with industry, SmartCrete CRC will integrate updating Australian Standards, Skills and Capability development, Economic and risk modelling and industry development in all its programs.

Direct outcomes of applying new technologies such as 3D printing, AI, Sensing and new products will be the development of new industries, and opportunities in Universities and the VET sector, as well as new export markets to meet global supply chain requirements.