$70m Boost for Sleep Research

Prime Minister, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

The Gillard Government will invest over $70 million to help Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) improve the lives of Australians by driving world class research in areas including cell therapy, autism, eye care in remote communities and workplace safety.

The Government will fund three new CRCs – focused on Alertness, Safety and Productivity; Cell Therapy Manufacturing; and Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders – and provide additional funding to the existing Vision CRC to expand its research programs.

The CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity will receive $14.5 million to reduce the burden of impaired alertness on the safety, productivity and health of all Australians. The Sleep Health Foundation will play a key role in the communication of research findings and the presentation of new alertness management capabilities in the context of a safe and productive community.

The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing will receive $20 million to help make Australia a world leader in the manufacture of cell therapies, which offer exciting possibilities for a range of previously incurable and difficult-to-treat conditions.

The CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders will receive $31 million to enhance the lives of individuals with lifelong development disabilities arising from an autism spectrum disorder.

An additional $5 million will enable the Vision CRC to revolutionise the delivery of eye care in remote environments by developing a world first, intelligent retinal camera.

These CRCs will bring together researchers, industry, communities and government to produce world leading research that addresses major challenges in the public and private sectors.

The camera will be able to be used in extreme environments by non-specialist staff to accurately and rapidly detect sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

These projects have been chosen following a competitive, merit based process as part of the 15th selection round of the CRC program. There is $240 million in available funding for Round 16, which closes in June 2013.

The Government is committed to maintaining the CRC program, with a total of $619 million in funding for 2012-13 to 2015-16.
More information on the CRC program and the successful CRCs is available at www.alertnesscrc.com.