About the CRCNA

Our vision

To create a prosperous, sustainable, vibrant and healthy Northern Australia.

Our mission

To lead an integrated, coordinated and evidence-based approach to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of the Northern Australian economy and the wellbeing of its communities.

About the CRCNA

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) is investing $75m of Commonwealth funds over ten years to support industry-led research collaborations.  The funding will develop new technologies, products and services which address industry issues in Northern Australia within three initial focus areas:

  1. Agriculture and Food (including aquaculture)
    Removing barriers and improving supply and value chains for new and existing northern agricultural industries.
  2. Northern Australia health service delivery
    Identifying new models and approaches, early detection, health-seeking behaviour and mental health.
  3. Traditional Owner-led business development
    Identifying new models and approaches and building an industry-ready skilled workforce in the fields of agriculture, food and/or health industries.

The CRCNA brings together industry, universities and other research bodies, regional development organisations, all northern jurisdictions and international partners in a collaborative industry-led R&D venture to assist businesses, governments and researchers identify opportunities for business and growth in the north.

We also work closely with and are supported by our investment partners the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and Australian governments.

Strategic objectives

  • Increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Northern Australia
  • Increased investment in Northern Australia
  • Improved (supply chain) efficiencies in Northern Australia
  • Generation of new jobs in Northern Australia to assist population growth
  • Improved capabilities and wellbeing of the Northern Australian community.


The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia was released on 18 June 2015 and included $75 million over ten years to establish a Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA). The CRCNA is a core element of the Australian Government’s agenda for developing the north.

Mr John Wharton AM was appointed as Interim Chair of the CRCNA in November 2015 to consult with stakeholders and develop a proposal for consideration by Government to establish the CRC. Mr Wharton undertook extensive consultations with industry, research and government from December 2015 to 31 March 2016 and provided his proposal to the Australian Government on 5 August 2016.

On 20 February 2017, the Australian Government appointed the inaugural CRCNA Board and in April 2017 announced Townsville would host the CRCNA’s Head Office.

The CRCNA appointed Jed Matz as CEO early July 2017 and signed the Commonwealth Funding Agreement on 12 July 2017.

The CRCNA’s Head Office is located in Townsville with regional offices located in Broome, WA and Darwin, NT.