Australian Government-Academia-Industry Research Models
One model for cooperative government-academia-industry research is that of the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP).1 ACARP, which began in 1992, is funded by a 5 cent per tonne tax paid by the Australian black coal industry that generates $A10 million-$A15 million annually. The funds are paid to Australian Coal Research Ltd. (ACR), a company established by the industry to manage all aspects of the program. Each year, ACARP’s industry-chaired committees select approximately 80 research projects for funding from about 300 proposals submitted under a competitive solicitation. The amount of leveraged matching funding for these projects from sources outside ACARP has been at an average ratio (external:ACARP) of more than 2.5:1 over the last three years. The research projects, which are conducted by university, industrial, and government-affiliated researchers, are monitored by industry representatives.
The Australian government also supports the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Mining (CRCMining),2 an incorporated entity created in 2003. CRCMining is projected to receive $A27 million in funding from the Australian government over seven years. This will be matched by about another $A100 million of funding from 12 industry and 4 university partners. CRCMining is one of about 60 CRCs in Australia, 8 of which are concerned with mining and energy. Each CRC is incorporated and operates under a formal agreement with the Australian government of up to seven year’s duration. Under this agreement, the government agrees to provide a certain level of funding each year to the CRC, and CRC participants agree to undertake certain activities and contribute specified personnel and resources.
The National Mining Association (NMA) earlier outlined its vision and goals for the Mining IOF program (NMA, 1998). This recognized the importance of developing research priorities for new technologies and joint sponsorships of chosen projects, and resulted in an NMA-DOE partnership that supported several roadmaps as part of the Mining IOF program. Three specific roadmaps (Mining Industry Roadmap for Crosscutting Technologies, 1999; Mineral Processing Technology Roadmap, 2000; and Exploration and Mining Technology Roadmap, 2002) resulted in projects funded by DOE.
The more difficult mining conditions that will be encountered in the future will require improved methods to protect the health and safety of mine work-