History of the CRCSI


"CRCSI-1" was established by the CRC Program, an Australian Government Initiative, for seven years as an unincorporated joint venture. It commenced operation in July 2003, with $78 million to invest (cash and in-kind) from its 55 partners, including $13.3 million of CRC Program cash.

In 2007 a successful  Supplementary Bid raised a further $15 million, including $2.7 million of CRC Program cash, and adding a further 13 partners. CRCSI-1 ceased operation on 31 December 2009 following its successful bid as "CRCSI-2" for further funding.


On 1 January 2010 "CRCSI-2" had over 110 partners investing $160 million of cash and in-kind including $32.2 million of CRC Program funding to end 2018.

CRCSI has a dozen core partners, each of which has committed substantial cash and in-kind: $300,000 of untied cash per annum and three times that amount of in-kind for government partners; $150,000 of cash for university partners; and $300,000 of cash and several times that in-kind for the SME consortium 43 Pty Ltd ("43pl"). 43pl is made up of over 50 companies. A further 30 organisations both locally and overseas make up the "Support Partners".

CRCSI activities are conducted across Australia and New Zealand in our partner institutions. Other nodes and partners may be added in the future. Existing nodes may be expanded. Melbourne is the corporate base for the CRCSI with offices in Brisbane, Perth, Wellington and Canberra. 

The research programs are led by scientists with impressive records of research and demonstrated capability to collaborate and manage complex industry-focused research projects.

The CRCSI has a college structure to facilitate communication, accountability and decision-making across all the partners. These colleges are the Research and Education College, the Government College lead by ANZLIC, and 43pl.

CRCSI is an unincorporated entity that operates through its wholly-owned entity Spatial Information Systems Research Ltd.

Below are some of the highlights from our CRCSI-1 activities, some of which continue to be expanded.

  • New partnerships

    "The CRCSI is seen as being vital to the organisation of the fledgling spatial information industry, and as creating a cross-sectoral collaborative framework that will lead to economic and social benefits to the nation in the longer term." - Report of the Independent Year 3 Review Panel.

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    New partnerships
  • Research Outcomes and Intellectual property

    Newly developed companies create intellectual property and release Research Outcomes into the market, with broad user adoption underway in companies and government agencies.

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    Research Outcomes and Intellectual property
  • higher degree students

    A cadre of higher degree students are now operating in a sector not known for PhD employment.

    We produce research graduates with high level experience in industry settings to address a critical shortage of advanced skills. The cadre of enrolments exceeded the targets of the Commonwealth Agreement.

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    higher degree students
  • 43pl

    43pl is a stand-out mechanism for SME engagement in CRC-like collaborations.

    "…. most 43pl members would not have participated in cooperative research programs without a 43pl-type mechanism" - third year review final report 

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  • Commissioned research

    The concentration of research expertise in the CRCSI, through its partners, encouraged many organisations to engage the CRCSI to undertake research that in many instances could not otherwise be done.

    Contract research opportunities were conducted through participants including the 43pl companies. Over $5 million of research work was conducted this way.

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    Commissioned research
  • Australian Urban DEM Project

    In June 2008 the then Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, announced $2.8 million in funding for three new projects to help Australia's vulnerable coastal communities plan for the effects of climate change. $2 million was allocated to the Urban Digital Elevation Modelling (UDEM) Project to map key urban and industrial areas which may be subject to inundation due to the impacts of climate change or storm surge.

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    Australian Urban DEM Project
  • Remote sensing to monitor global deforestation

    In June 2008, the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the then Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met in Tokyo to strengthen the strategic, security and economic partnerships between Japan and Australia. The two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to cooperate on climate change, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ‘to develop innovative technologies in a shift to a low carbon society in order to achieve long term emissions reduction’.

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    Remote sensing to monitor global deforestation
  • Government Information Licensing Framework

    "Frictionless" access to government information is recognised as a key opportunity for innovation. This project sought to make it easier to access under-utilised government information to exploit its social, economic, cultural and environmental value.

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    Government Information Licensing Framework
  • Market Awareness

    The CRCSI commissioned the first independent comprehensive study of the impact of spatial information on the Australian economy, by ACIL Tasman. The report examined the contribution of spatial information and its technologies to GDP, consumption, employment and export revenue. Analysis of five CRCSI projects contributed to the conclusions of the report.

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    Market Awareness
  • Professorial Positions

    CRCSI invested in three Professorial Fellows to stimulate the education in spatial sciences at universities in Victoria (University of Melbourne) , New South Wales (University of New South Wales) and Western Australia (Curtin University of Technology). These positions will continue to increase the numbers of skilled graduates available for the wider industry of spatial providers and spatial users. In recognition of the importance of providing skilled workers, Landgate established state of the art facilities at Curtin University.

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    Professorial Positions
  • Publications

    Research and other publications can be found in the Resources page.

    CRCSI Annual Reports can be found in resources, or on the Annual Reports page therein.

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