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The Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) delivers outcomes in cotton research, development and extension (RD&E) for the Australian cotton industry.

A partnership between the Commonwealth Government and cotton growers, CRDC invests in world-leading RD&E to benefit Australia’s dynamic cotton industry, and the wider community. We invest in innovation and transformative technologies to deliver impact, and as an organisation we are ambitious, agile, and adaptive.

Cotton is a major contributor to the economic, environmental and social fabric of rural Australia. The industry’s national exports generate an average of $1.9 billion in annual revenue, and the industry is a major employer in rural and regional communities.

The industry continues to go through a period of growth: in recent years, cotton has expanded from its predominate growing base in NSW and QLD to VIC, and commercial trials are also underway in the NT and WA.

RD&E and its resulting innovations are a key driving force behind our industry’s continued success - and CRDC’s purpose is to power the success of Australian cotton through this world-leading RD&E.

Our aim is to create $2 billion in additional gross value of cotton production by 2023. To help achieve this, Australian cotton growers and the Commonwealth Government will co-invest $20.2 million through CRDC into cotton RD&E during 2019-20, across approximately 300 projects and in collaboration with around 100 research partners. Read more about our investments here

We are based in Narrabri NSW (one of the major centres of cotton growing in Australia), and have satellite offices in Emerald, Toowoomba and Brisbane.

Our Purpose

Investing in world-leading RD&E to benefit Australia’s dynamic cotton industry.

Our Vision

CRDC: Powering the success of Australian cotton through world leading RD&E.

Our Goals

  • Increase productivity and profitability on cotton farms

  • Improve cotton farming sustainability and value chain competitiveness

  • Build adaptive capacity of the cotton industry

  • Strengthening partnerships and adoption

  • Driving RD&E impact.

Through successfully implementing our vision, purpose and goals, CRDC will achieve the following outcome:

Increased economic, social and environmental benefits for the Australian cotton industry, and the wider community, by investing in knowledge, innovation and its adoption.

Our Board

CRDC has an eight-member Board, consisting of a Chair (appointed by the Minister for Agriculture), the Executive Director (selected by the Board) and six 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.


Mr Richard Haire - Chair. FAICD, FAIM

Mr Haire has held many leadership positions within the cotton industry, most recently as Managing Director and regional head of Olam International, a global leader in the supply chain management of agricultural products and food ingredients. He was formerly the Chief Executive of Queensland Cotton Corporation Pty Ltd and a member of the Rabo Australia Food and Agribusiness Advisory Board. Mr Haire is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management. He formerly served as a Director on the CRDC board from 2011 to 2014. 

Appointed: 29/08/2016 until 29/08/2019
Reappointed: 29/08/2019 until 29/08/22

Ms Kathryn Adams - Deputy Chair. 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: 20/10/2014 until 30/09/2017.
Reappointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.
Appointed Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee. 

Dr Ian Taylor - Executive Director. BappSc PhD

Dr Taylor has extensive experience across the cotton RD&E pipeline, having worked as a researcher specialising in integrated weed management before progressing to management positions within the cotton industry’s extension program, CottonInfo and CRDC. Prior to being appointed Executive Director, Dr Taylor performed the role of CRDC’s General Manager of R&D Investments for a period of five years, overseeing CRDC’s investment in cotton RD&E to deliver impact and leading the development of the CRDC Strategic RD&E Plan 2018-2023.

Dr Taylor holds BappSc and PhD degrees from the University of Queensland, is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, and is Deputy Chair of the Summit Community Services board. He has extensive stakeholder management, strategy development, leadership and governance experience, combined with national and international networks, in part from his time as the Technology Development Lead and Asia-Pacific Technical and Stewardship Lead with Monsanto. In his former career, Dr Taylor was an avionics technician in the Australian Defence Force, where he developed a sound understanding of digital and advanced complex systems.  

Appointed: 7/3/2019

Mrs Elizabeth (Liz) Alexander. BA, M RurSysMgt, GAICD

Mrs Alexander specialises in finding collaborative and innovative solutions for regional challenges. She is the Agribusiness Development Coordinator for the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and leads CHDC’s Central Highlands Accelerate Agribusiness (CHAA) initiative, working with stakeholders to grow productivity and profitability for all agribusiness within the region. In her role, Liz developed and facilitates the AgTeCH events held annually in Emerald and Mungindi. She has extensive knowledge of dryland and irrigated cropping industries, and experience across natural resource management, agricultural extension and water policy.

Mrs Alexander is currently a director of Plant Health Australia. Previously, Liz was a Director of Cotton Australia and the Chair of Theodore Water, the Theodore Irrigation LMA Interim Board and Glencore’s Clermont Open Cut Mine Groundwater and Environmental Reference Group. 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

Appointed: 20/10/2014 until 30/09/2017.
Reappointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.

Mr Greg Kauter. BAgEc. GradCertRuSc. 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.  

Appointed: 20/10/2014 until 30/09/2017.
Reappointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.

Dr Jeremy Burdon. BSc (Hons.), PhD, Hon DSc (Umeå), FAA, FTSE, MAICD

Dr Burdon has an international reputation in evolutionary biology combining interests and expertise in ecology, epidemiology and genetics to contribute solutions to problems in a wide range of areas or agriculture, including disease control, pre-breeding, weed biology, and ecological sustainability. His research has been recognised through the award of a number of national and international awards and honours.

He has had extensive experience in research management and commercialisation leading CSIRO-Plant Industry for many years. This gave him exposure to a broad swathe of important Australian agricultural industries including cotton, grains, sugar, and various horticultural crops. Subsequently, he has served on the Board of Trustees of Bioversity International, as a director of the Grains Research & Development Corporation, a member of Sugar Research Australia’s independent Research Funding Panel, and as Chair of the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food. In that role he led the production of a Decadal Plan for Agricultural Science that was released in 2017.

Appointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.

Emeritus Professor Les Copeland AM

Emeritus Professor Copeland has been conducting research and teaching in agricultural and food science in the University of Sydney for over forty years. His research on plant, grain and food chemistry, and the origins of the human diet, has resulted in over 150 publications and 34 PhD completions. He is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Farm Institute, and Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journals Cereal Chemistry and Agriculture. Emeritus Professor Copeland was Chair of the Cotton Catchment Communities Participants’ Forum and a Director of the Australian Cotton and Value Added Wheat CRCs. He is a former Dean of Agriculture, and he was the Foundation President of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture. He is the immediate past President of the University of Sydney Association of Professors.

Emeritus Professor Copeland holds BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has held research positions at Yale University, the University of Buffalo, the University of California in Davis, and the Australian National University. He is a Fulbright Alumnus, the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Association of Cereal Chemists-International, and has had international experience in capacity building. Emeritus Professor Copeland was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division in the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours, recognising his significant service to agricultural science as an academic and researcher.

Appointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.

Ms Rosemary Richards. BAgEc, MBA

Ms Richards is an agribusiness consultant with extensive experience in broadacre cropping, in particular oilseeds and downstream processing sectors. Ms Richards is principal of Bowman Richards & Associates which undertakes strategic planning, supply chain management and trade and market access services for private companies and industry and Government organisations to support market and business growth.  

She also has extensive experience in the biotechnology sector and was actively involved in the introduction of GM canola to Australia as CEO of the Australian Oilseeds Federation. Ms Richards continues to be involved in biotechnology policy and advocacy through work with Australian and international representative organisations.

Ms Richards currently consults on trade and market access, commercialisation of biotech crops and business strategy. She is a passionate advocate for the agricultural sector and maintains close linkages with a range of agribusiness industry organisations.

Appointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.

Our Team

CRDC’s small but dedicated team of skilled and experienced staff actively manage the RD&E investment portfolio to achieve the cotton industry’s strategic goals. Our internal capacity is an important element of the overall effectiveness of RD&E investment for the cotton industry.

Dr Ian Taylor 
Executive Director

R&D Investment

Allan Williams 
General Manager, R&D Investment 

Susan Maas 
R&D Manager

Dr Meredith (Merry) Conaty
R&D Manager

Elle Storrier 
R&D Manager

Stacey Vogel
R&D Manager (Contractor)

Rachel Holloway
R&D Manager (Contractor)

Jane Trindall
Innovation Broker (Contractor)

Jarrod Ward
Commercialisation Manager (Contractor)

Ben Simpson
Monitoring & Evaluation Manager (CRDC/Sugar Research Australia)


Ruth Redfern
Communications Manager, CRDC & CottonInfo 








Business & Finance

Graeme Tolson 
General Manager, Business and Finance

Dianne Purcell
Executive Assistant

Emily Luff 

Megan Baker
Project Administration 

Lynda George
Project Administration

Jeevi Arjunan
Accounts Officer 




Warwick Waters
CottonInfo Program Manager



Performance evaluation

CRDC invests in innovation and transformative technologies to deliver impact. In this section, we outline how we deliver impact for our cotton growers and the wider cotton industry, and how we continuously monitor and evaluate our performance.

All our investments are guided by the CRDC Strategic RD&E Plan 2018-23. This five-year Strategic RD&E Plan is our key planning document. It is the compass that sets the direction for our operations and investments, enabling the industry to achieve its long term vision and the Government to achieve its strategic RD&E priorities. 

Under this Plan, CRDC then establishes five Annual Operational Plans – each of which become the primary planning and implementation tool for the strategy for that year. While the Strategic RD&E Plan sets the overall vision and direction for the organisation, the Annual Operational Plan outlines how the goals will be achieved.

We monitor progress towards - and achievement of - the outcomes of the CRDC Strategic RD&E Plan 2018-23 via our Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. It provides a coordinated approach for measuring, monitoring, evaluating and reporting performance, to inform continuous improvement of CRDC.

Each year, we publish the impact we have acheived for the industry, and our progress towards our stated Strategic RD&E Plan goals via our CRDC Annual Report - including a short snapshot for growers. 

Under our Funding Agreement with the Government, we are also required to undergo an independent performance review. Our inaugural performance review took place in 2018. The reviewers (Forest Hill Consulting) assessed CRDC's performance and made 8 recommendations in their report: two 'important' recommendations (actions that are expected to deliver significant benefits to the company and industry); and six 'best practice' recommendations (expected to deliver incremental performance improvements). In their response, our Board welcomed the findings as an endorsement of our high level of organisational performance and important guidance on areas for continuous improvement.


Our impact 

Under the 2018-23 Strategic RD&E Plan 

CRDC's investments and impacts from 2018-23 will be outlined annually in the CRDC Annual Report and Performance Report. The first Annual Report for this five year period, 2018-19, will be released in November 2019.

Under the 2013-18 Strategic RD&E Plan

From 2013-18, CRDC invested $95.6 million into 862 RD&E projects in collaboration with 205 research partners across the 2013-18 Strategic Plan priority areas – farmers, industry, customers, people and performance.

These investments acheived real impacts for cotton growers, the industry and the wider community from 2013-18. In 2019, CRDC published the CRDC 2013-18 Investment. Innovation. Impact report, to provide a summary of these impacts, along with CRDC's key investments and innovation during this period. Below is an infographic taken from this report. 

Click on the infographic below to view it full screen.



Our Partners

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. class="twocolumn" 

It’s a unique feature, and strength, of the cotton industry. Key partners with CRDC in its research, development and extension projects are: 




Working together to deliver RD&E benefits

Did you know? CRDC is one of 15 rural research and development corporations (RDCs) in Australia.

The RDCs deliver research, development and extension for their specific agricultural industries: cotton, grains, meat, wool, fish, wine, eggs, sugar, pork, horticulture and even crocodiles, to name but a few. You may be familiar with GRDC, MLA and AWI, and less familiar with AgriFutures Australia, Fisheries RDC and Wine Australia.

Each RDC invests in diverse projects, but together we form a network that enables primary production through effective RD&E, and delivers substantial benefits at the farm gate and across the economy and society. 

We collectively invest around $580 million in RD&E on behalf of our growers and the Government to improve the profitability and sustainability of our rural industries and communities. We’re the largest productivity-driven industry program in Australia. 

Together, we deliver six key things to our individual industries, and to agriculture as a whole:

  • Innovation and practice improvement;
  • Market access and international competitiveness;
  • Farm gate returns through smarter farming;
  • Employment through new skills and changed practices;
  • Value for money and efficiency, ensuring a return on your investment; and a
  • Leveraged investment through collaboration and co-investment.

For more on the RDCs and how we’re working together to deliver benefits for you, visit the Council of RDCs website: 


Compliance information

Independent Performance Review

Under CRDC's Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, CRDC is required to commission an independent review of its performance. The inaugural independent review was conducted by Forest Hill Consulting in May 2018. 

A typical review conducted by Forest Hill categorises recommendations as: critical (should be implemented as a matter of urgency in order for CRDC to meet its legal and regulatory obligations); important (actions that are expected to deliver significant benefits to the company and industry) or best practice (expected to deliver incremental performance improvements).

The Independent Performance Review was completed in October 2018 and made 8 recommendations in total: no critical recommendations; two important recommendations; and six best practice recommendations. 

The CRDC Board responded to the Review Report in January 2019, welcoming the overall findings as an endorsement of CRDC’s high level of organisational performance and valuing the recommendations as important guidance on areas for continuous improvement. 

Download the Independent Performance Review Report
Download the CRDC Board Response to the Independent Performance Review Report 

Indexed lists of CRDC 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:
Indexed list of files - January to June 2019 - NIL to report
Indexed list of files - July to Dec 2018

Senate Order on Entity Contracts 

Pursuant to the amended Senate Order, the attached table sets out contracts for procurement of goods, services, research services and contracts for services to be provided by CRDC which provide for consideration of $100,000 or more (including GST) which: 

  • (A) Have not been fully performed as at 31 December 2018; and/or 
  • (B) Have been entered into during the 12 months prior to 31 December 2018.

CRDC contracts research, development and extension services through the CRDC Research Deed, Multi‐party Deeds and Co‐operative agreements or consultancy agreements which contain general commercial confidentiality provisions and may also provide for outputs to be confidential such as intellectual property.

Download the Senate Order on Agency Procurement Contracts for 2018-19.

Executive Remuneration Reporting

The Board reviews and approves the remuneration of senior executives annually in accordance with the PIRD Act. The Privacy Act 1988 limits the right to publish an individual's personal information. The following tables provide the average remuneration for 2017-18.

Table A: Average annual reportable remuneration paid to substantive executives

NO. OF EMPLOYEES Average reportable salary*
3 $218,938

* Average reportable salary includes gross salary, employer superannuation, and reportable fringe benefits. There were no allowances or bonuses paid in the period.

Table B: Other highly paid staff

Workplace Values

CRDC values social and cultural diversity and is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and the provision of a safe and healthy work environment.

Current Positions

Positions available within CRDC are advertised here as they arise.