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

Our investments are governed by our five-year Strategic RD&E Plan 2023-28: Clever Cotton

Clever Cotton sets out our vision for a sophisticated, prosperous and sustainable Australian cotton industry that is strongly connected to its value chain.

Clever Cotton

Clever Cotton defines what CRDC aims to achieve over the next five years and what we will do to get there. The strategy recognises that our industry operates in uncertain times and needs 21st-century approaches to overcome 21st-century challenges.

Clever CottonClever Cotton commits CRDC to invest in RD&E to address and capitalise on challenges and opportunities for the benefit of levy payers, the cotton industry and the wider community. The strategy is aligned to the Australian cotton industry's sustainability framework, which recognises sustainability is integral to the industry's future success and provides a pathway for the entire industry.

Clever Cotton charts an ambitious new course through three pillars of investment – Paddock, People, Planet – drawn from the sustainability framework. Each pillar contains three themes, creating nine key investment areas. By adopting this model, our RD&E will focus on industry priorities – be they emerging issues or long-term challenges – to leverage higher investment returns and champion solutions to deliver the greatest impact. 

Our goal is to add an additional $1 billion in economic value to the Australian cotton industry over the next five to ten years. CRDC will collaborate with current and new partners to achieve Clever Cotton's substantial aspirations and our strategic goals. Clever Cotton was developed with and endorsed by the cotton industry to strengthen Australian cotton's position as a global leader and to secure our industry's future.

Clever Cotton commits CRDC to investing across nine themes to achieve our vision and to deliver the greatest impact and best outcomes for growers (levy payers), our industry and the wider community. The three pillars and nine themes are distinct and interconnected. Each supports the other while directly targeting bold strategic priorities and outcomes to meet the ambitions of the cotton industry and our communities. 

Setting the RD&E priorities

CRDC works with the Australian cotton industry to determine the sector’s key RD&E priorities; with Government to determine its overarching rural RD&E priorities; and with both the industry and Government to determine the Cotton Sector RD&E Strategy.

In turn, these priorities help to shape CRDC’s strategic RD&E priorities, which are formalised under the Strategic RD&E Plan.


CRDC is funded through an R&D levy, which all growers pay (the levy equates to $2.21 for each 227 kilogram bale of cotton; or $3.99 per tonne of exported seed cotton), with the Government matching the funds dollar-for-dollar. 

Over the past 30 years, over $408 million has been invested in cotton RD&E by growers and the Government – and it has been estimated that the return on investment for growers is $7 in benefits for every $1 invested. 

Current investments

The 2024-25 investments are listed here: CRDC RD&E Investments.