The Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) is a statutory authority established in 1990 under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act). CRDC was established by the Australian Government to work with industry to invest in research, development and extension (RD&E) for a more profitable, sustainable and dynamic cotton industry.
CRDC is based in Narrabri, the centre of one of Australia’s major cotton growing regions and the location of the major cotton research facility, the Australian Cotton Research Institute.
Our purpose is to support the performance of the cotton industry: helping to increase both productivity and profitability of our growers. In 2014-15, Australia’s 1,250 cotton growers and the Australian Government will co-invest $24 million through CRDC into RD&E.
Importantly, the Australian cotton industry has always placed great emphasis on the value of its RD&E, and the results speak for themselves. Over the past 10 years alone, RD&E has helped cotton growers reduce their insecticide use by 87 percent, and increase their water use efficiency by 40 percent.
Thanks to cotton RD&E, led by CRDC, Australian cotton growers are now growing more cotton on less land and with less impact on the environment than ever before. (Read more about CRDC’s priorities and investments, and cotton RD&E’s importance, on the Research and Development pages).
CRDC is one of fifteen Rural Research and Development Corporations (rural RDCs) taking a leading national role in planning, investing in and managing research and development for their respective industries. The rural RDCs model is a uniquely Australian innovation established and supported by the Australian Government to provide an industry-driven, market-responsive approach to rural innovation.
The National and Rural Research Priorities of the Australian Government provide an overarching framework for public investment in cotton research and development. CRDC’s investments are closely aligned with these priorities.
A globally competitive and responsible cotton industry.
Enhancing the performance of the Australian cotton industry and community through investment in research and development, and its application.
For cotton to be profitable and consistently farmers’ crop of choice.
For the Australian cotton industry to be the global leader in sustainable agriculture.
For the Australian cotton industry to capture the full value of its products.
For capable and connected people to be driving the cotton industry.
For the measured performance of the cotton industry and its RD&E to drive continuous improvement.
Through successfully implementing our vision, purpose and goals, CRDC will achieve the following outcome:
Adoption of innovation that leads to increased productivity, competitiveness and environmental sustainability through investment and development that benefits the Australian cotton industry and the wider community.
CRDC has a seven-member Board, consisting of a Chair (appointed by the Minister for Agriculture), the Executive Director (selected by the Board) and five non-executive Directors nominated by an independent Selection Committee.
Appointment of non-executive Directors is subject to Ministerial approval and directors (other than the Executive Director) are appointed for three-year terms.
Dr Mary Corbett - Chair BSc PhD (FAICD, AFAIM)
CRDC Chair, Dr Mary Corbett, has more than 17 years experience as a Company Director in the scientific research and development area, and in education and training. Dr Corbett has significant board and corporate governance experience gained across a range of organisations. She is currently Chair of the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service, and a Board member on the Wound Management Innovation CRC. Previously, Dr Corbett was Deputy Chair of the Southbank Institute of Technology, Deputy Chair of the Australian Agriculture College Corporation, and a board director of the Sugar Research and Development Corporation and Food Science Australia.
Dr Corbett has extensive experience as Chair and member of a number of board committees. She is Managing Director of Australian Business Class, an organisation specialising in executive leadership development.
Appointed: 01/10/2008 until 01/10/2011.
Appointed Chair: 12/08/2013.
Appointed Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
Mr Bruce Finney - Executive Director BSc Ag (MAICD)
Mr Finney has extensive experience in the agricultural sector. Prior to his appointment to CRDC he worked in corporate agriculture in various corporate, management and agronomy roles in Australia and in an advisory role in Argentina. He is a member of the Advisory Board QLD DAFF programme on Agricultural Robotics at QUT.
Mr Finney is a past chair of the Australian Cotton Growers Research Association and a past director of the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC and the Irrigation Association of Australia. Mr Finney is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and of the Company Directors Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed: 01/08/2004 by virtue of his appointment as Executive Director of CRDC. He attends the Audit, Intellectual Property and Remuneration Committees as an observer.
Dr Michael Robinson BSc (Hons), PhD (FAIMS, GAICD)
Dr Robinson is the CEO of Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre. Previously he was the CEO of FrOG Tech Pty Ltd, a private research company specialising in geological reconstructions and interpretations across a range of sectors, including oil and groundwater, and CEO of GeoSphere Ltd, a specialist geological consulting firm in New Zealand.
Dr Robinson has extensive experience in primary industries and natural resources research, development and extension. He was the Executive Director of Land & Water Australia, Centre Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (a joint venture between DPI Victoria and University of Melbourne), Chair of the National Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries, CEO of the CRC for Greenhouse Accounting, and a member of the National Primary Industries Standing Committee RD&E Extension Subcommittee.
Appointed 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.
Appointed Chair of the Audit Committee.
Mr Cleave Rogan (MAICD)
Mr Rogan has been farming and marketing cotton and grains for 30 years. He has acted in an advisory role to CRDC, working on research projects related to biosecurity, insects, weeds, diseases, cotton fibre processing and quality enhancement. Mr Rogan was a director of Cotton Australia and has been an industry representative on various other cotton industry associations and research advisory committees.
Appointed: 01/10/2011 until 01/10/2014.
Ms Kathryn Adams B.Sc.Agr (Hons), LLM, M.Bus, M.Env.Stud, Grad Dip Leg Pract, Prof Cert Arbitration, Practitioners Cert Mediation & Conciliation, FAICD
Ms Adams is a microbiologist and lawyer and specialises in intellectual property management, commercial/industry application of R&D and corporate governance. She has had extensive experience in R&D investment from the perspective of a researcher, Director of a research institute and an investor. She has been a practicing lawyer and was also the first Registrar of Plant Breeder's Rights in Australia.
Ms Adams was on the Board of the Cotton CRC and is currently on the Boards of a number of CRCs as well as Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, and PBIP Ltd. She is a member of the R&D Tax Incentives Committee of AusIndustry, an adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA, Griffith Law School) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee.
Mrs Elizabeth (Liz) Alexander BA, M Rur.Sys.Mgt, GAICD
Mrs Alexander specialises in finding collaborative and innovative solutions for regional challenges. As principal consultant for Blue Dog Agribusiness, she undertakes community-based planning, research, project management, communication and extension services for dryland and irrigated cropping industries, natural resource management groups, local government and the rural training industry.
Mrs Alexander is currently a director of Plant Health Australia, Chair of the Theodore Irrigation Scheme Local Management Arrangements Interim Board, Chair of Glencore Clermont Open Cut Groundwater and Environmental Reference Group, and was previously a director of Cotton Australia. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Rural Systems Management from the University of Queensland, is a member of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mr Greg Kauter B.Ag.Ec. Grad.Cert Ru.Sc. GAICD
Mr Kauter is an agricultural consultant with more than 30 years of cotton industry experience. He has had extensive experience in cotton research administration and industry stewardship through roles in crop protection, farming systems, plant variety and biotechnology research programs. He has also planned and developed extension strategies to facilitate the adoption of new technology and knowledge. He has experience with industry representative bodies in developing strategic priorities with cotton growers and industry stakeholders, identify emerging issues and developing evidence based policy responses based on sound research and information.
Mr Kauter currently consults on cotton farm management and Best Management Practice implementation. He has been the industry representative for biosecurity through Plant Health Australia Ltd and Chair of the cotton Industry Biosecurity Group. He is a former President of the Cotton Consultants Association Inc.
CRDC’s small but dedicated team of skilled and experienced staff actively manage R&D investment portfolios to achieve the cotton industry’s strategic goals. Our internal capacity is an important element of the overall effectiveness of R&D investment for the cotton industry.
General Manager R&D Investment
CottonInfo Program Manager
R&D Program Manager (on extended leave)
R&D Program Manager
R&D Program Manager
Susan Maas R&D Program Manager
General Manager Business and Finance
Project Administration Assistant
Project Admin Assistant (on extended leave)
Collaboration is king in the Australian cotton industry, with many industry bodies, research organisations and individual researchers, consultants, agronomists and growers working together on joint programs and initiatives.
It’s a unique feature, and strength, of the cotton industry.
Key partners with CRDC in its research, development and extension projects are:
CRDC Strategic Plan 2013-18
CRDC’s Strategic Plan 2013-18 is the organisation’s key planning document. It is the compass that sets the direction for the organisation’s operations and investment in cotton research, development and extension over the next five years, enabling the industry to achieve its long term vision and the Government to achieve its strategic R&D priorities. The Plan outlines the strategic outcomes CRDC is striving to achieve in five priority areas: farmers, industry, customers, people and performance.
CRDC Annual Operating Plan 2014-15
Under the CRDC’s five year Strategic Plan, CRDC will establish five Annual Operating Plans – each of which becomes the primary planning and implementation tool for the strategy for that year. While the Strategic Plan sets the overall vision and direction for the organisation, the Annual Operating Plan outlines how the goals will be achieved. The CRDC Annual Operating Plan for 2014-15 sets out the second year of operation under CRDC’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan.
In accordance with Section 28 of the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989 (PIRD Act) CRDC must present an Annual Report. The Report provides an overview of the CRDC’s governance, operations, achievements and financial statements for the 2012-13 period.
Indexed lists of CRDCs files
CRDC provides access to an indexed list of the titles of all relevant files, including new parts of existing files, as required under the Standing Orders of the Senate.
The most recent indexed files can be downloaded here: