SmartCrete CRC’s Industry-led Research Collaborations Fund

The SmartCrete CRC Industry-led Research Collaborations Fund provides competitive matched funding between $100,000 up to $ 2 million to eligible collaborative partnerships organisations representing at least one industry or government partner and one research organisation to create new knowledge and innovation which leads to enhanced viability and sustainability of Australian concrete. It supports research and development (R&D) projects that improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australia’s concrete sector.

About the fund

SmartCrete CRC provides matched funding for industry-led research collaborations which address pressing industry problems, deliver material change, enable innovative solutions that improve asset management, drive supply chain sustainability, open up new export markets and support a technology ready workforce for Australia’s concrete sector.

The program aims to:

  • Improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australia’s concrete ecosystem
  • Solve industry-identified problems through industry-led, outcome-focused collaborative partnerships between industry and research organisations
  • Encourage and facilitate, where possible, small and medium enterprise (SME) participation

Across three research streams:

  1. Sustainable Concrete: Improve recyclability and incorporate the waste stream into the supply chain through innovation collaborations that support the circular economy, accelerate decarbonisation and drive the development of standards
  2. Engineered Solutions: Better engineered structures through projects and initiatives that develop new cementitious materials, drive sustainable design and construction methodologies, provide predictive service life modelling (maintenance), optimise supply chance and support standards and certification
  3. Asset Management: Protect whole-of-life concrete infrastructure through new technology that enables health monitoring and maintenance, fast-tracks new sensor development and data analytics

Key issues to be addressed are:

  • Supply chain competitiveness: Capacity of the supply chain to meet market demand with direct impacts on construction costs, project viability and industry productivity.  
  • Lack of innovation: Loss of industry productivity and pricing improvements through inactivity of innovation in concrete formulation, fit for purpose construction methods and rapid alignment of Australian Standards.  
  • Premature asset failure: Failure to adopt real time monitoring and sensing in assets to drive human intervention through predictive asset management to improve whole of life asset performance, durability and reduce maintenance costs.  
  • Emissions reduction: Lack of investment in industry sustainability through the circular economy to repurpose alternative materials into the local and global supply chain and to reduce carbon emissions.  


The funding program intends to:

  • Establish industry-research sector collaborations
  • Lower barriers for SME research participation
  • Drive collaborative research impact
  • Increase industry + research capability
  • Improve competitiveness and productivity for industry participants and the broader Australia concrete sector

Who is this for?

Applicant teams must consist of at least one industry organisation and one research organisation.

Industry organisations can include registered companies, local and state government agencies. Commonwealth Agencies are not eligible to apply. Research organisations can include Australian registered research agencies. Preference will be given to research agencies already registered with SmartCrete CRC. The full list of participating research agencies can be found here.

How does it work?

SmartCrete CRC will match industry cash investment 50:50 with a minimum grant of $100,000 and maximum $2 million.

The research partner(s) is expected to provide significant in-kind contributions to the project and will contribute a 20% administration in addition to the project budget. Further information is available in the funding guidelines.


Applications are closed.

The latest funding round closed on
Friday, 23 February 2024. Applications will be assessed by SmartCrete CRC’s independent investment committee. Successful applicants will be notified before End of March 2024.

There is no minimum project timeline, but projects must be completed by 30 June 2027.


No, please do submit your project proposal before or on the due date. The deadline is timed with SmartCrete CRC’s investment approval forums and independent Board meetings. Late submissions will result in your proposal missing these key dates.

This is dependent on what works well for the collective project participants. Factors to consider could include availability of key team members, skillsets/expertise, materials, equipment, laboratories etc. Other factors include the types of internal approval forums project participants need to consider for signing off on investment and internal contracting processes. We can work through these considerations with yourselves during the contracting steps.

Yes we intend to, however, the timing for this is currently unknown. This may depend on factors such as number of projects submitted in this current round which will impact the remaining Commonwealth funding available.

Please do still complete the Detailed Impact and Commercialisation Plan section with a focus on utilisation and access of research outputs to enable impact i.e. how the outcomes of the project will be adopted by the industry. The questions in these sections are still important whether impact will be generated via commercial or non-commercial means.

Unfortunately no, unless you are a research organisation then the project budget cannot be used to pay for your internal staff or other costs associated with your participation in the project. However, we understand real internal costs do occur and this is captured as your “in-kind” contributions to the project. The CRC program values the transparency of these “in-kind” expenses as it is a measure of the collaboration between organisations in tackling impactful problems through research.