Spatial Information CRC to continue beyond funding deadline

By on 20 December, 2017

A NASA image of Sydney following bushfires in January 2016, recorded with the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument.

The Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information will continue to operate as a self-sustaining entity when its Commonwealth funding ceases in June 2018.

The CRCSI will exit the federal government’s CRC programme on July 1, 2018, under which it has received funding since 2003. In a newly-announced decision, its board and partners have decided that its mandate and activities should continue past that date. The CRCSI has set up a steering committee composed of the majority of its current partners, which will lead the governance changes and future research program.

Steve Jacoby PSM, chair of the new entity steering committee, said he is pleased the board approved the successor.

“Over 25 years, the Australian Government’s CRC programme has funded over 130 CRCs. Of these, only a small number have continued post federal funding. I am proud that our CRC will be one of these. The purpose of our new entity is very simple: to solve challenges of spatial science by bringing together the best R&D expertise,” he said.

The new entity will continue to be funded by the existing partner base, which includes Australian and New Zealand governments state and federal, universities and private sector entities. This partner base will also be in charge of setting the research direction, priorities and objectives of the new organisation.

The CRCSI’s program areas as they currently stand.

Dr Peter Woodgate, CRCSI CEO, said that for the past 15 years the CRCSI has been tasked with bringing the research, private and public sectors together to tackle spatial R&D challenges of significance for Australia and New Zealand, and announced his departure from the organisation.

“It is a testament to our partners commitment to research, the dedication of our research teams, and the impact of our outcomes that we will continue beyond our term and become self-sufficient when our federal funding winds up in June next year,” he said.

“I leave the CRCSI in the capable hands of Dr Graeme Kernich who will lead the development of our next incarnation prior to its launch in mid-2018.”

Dr Graeme Kernich said that while he is sad to see Dr. Woodgate retire, he is looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“The spatial sector and its influence on other industry sectors has seen enormous growth over the past decade. We are now seeing unprecedented use and dependence on spatial technologies. Knowing where things happen — be it sea level rise, cattle grazing or types of cancer — informs better decisions. We are looking forward to building on the solid foundations of the CRCSI to realise the growth of ‘where’ within the Australian and New Zealand economies,” he said.

The CRCSI has delivered an estimated research impact of AU$325 million from AU$267 million in costs since 2010.

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