Smarter Regions CRC


Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents an opportunity and a threat to regional Australia. If communities, universities and government work together, we can maximise the benefits and minimise the threats from this powerful new form of technology for regional Australia. This Smarter Regions CRC will give regional Australia the ability to act with urgency and scale to address some of the key challenges and opportunities facing regional Australia.

  • Food and agriculture
  • Mining and resources
  • Tourism
  • Health and social services
  • Transport and logistics
  • Manufacturing

What we will achieve

The Smarter Regions CRC will empower regional Australia to gain the maximum benefit from the AI revolution. It will transform existing industries and grow a technology sector in and for regional Australia. The result will be:

  • More profitable and competitive regional businesses and industries
  • Higher productivity leading to higher wages
  • Regional growth and jobs
  • Better delivery of regional services
  • A better return on regional investment
  • Regional Australia confident it can thrive in an AI-enabled world

The CRC will be a partnership of industry, government, universities and VET training organisations and will be the first major effort to specifically focused on enabling regions to capture the benefits of AI anywhere in the world.

Why is this CRC needed?

Regional Australians face different opportunities and challenges compared to urban Australians. It can be more difficult to attract skilled workers in medicine and information technology (for example). The strong export focus of regional industries means that they must achieve higher efficiencies to compete with other, lower wage countries.

Focus Areas

The Smarter Regions CRC will help regional Australia to more fully participate in the 21st Century economy by addressing:

Human Skills Shortage
Human Skills Shortage

Overcome human skills shortages in regions for business and service delivery. Regional businesses and organisations often find it a challenge to fill skilled jobs.

Remoteness Tax
Remoteness Tax

Reducing the "remoteness tax". There are many advantages to living in regional areas of Australia, however there are also inevitably higher costs associated with operating a business and living in more remote areas.

Global Competitive Advantage
Global Competitive Advantage

Global competitive advantage for exporting industries. More than their urban counterparts, regional Australian businesses are focussed on exports.

What Stage is this CRC at?

We are in the early stage of the development of this CRC. The intention is to build on a core group of partners who are passionate about the vision and outcomes of this CRC. These partners will refine the objectives and design of the CRC and help to grow the number of partners.

Partners Sought

The CRC is designed to support regional Australia to benefit from the emerging opportunities created by AI. Organisations who would benefit include:

  • Regional businesses and industry sectors in mining, agriculture, tourism, professional.
  • Services, health and manufacturing.
  • Indigenous businesses and management corporations.
  • Technology companies, especially those with a regional focus.
  • Education and training providers.
  • Government agencies in regional development, industry and health: Federal, state and local.

Partners will be required to contribute to the costs of the development of the CRC.

Showcase Regions

The CRC is seeking expressions of interest from regions who wanted to capture the full benefit of the Smarter Regions CRC for their communities. ‘Showcase Regions’ would be those that work closely with the CRC to rapidly transform the awareness and capability of their region in AI technologies and capabilities.



Smarter Regions CRC NSW Workshop

Date: 27 February 2020

The University of Sydney is hosting an NSW Workshop to develop the Smarter Regions CRC Bid. The CRC will focus on developing knowledge, technologies and products to bring the power of artificial intelligence to regional Australia.

Smarter Regions CRC will supercharge regional Australia by:

  • Increasing the productivity and profitability of regional businesses;
  • Increasing exports to global markets;
  • Driving an increase in high wage regional jobs; and
  • Better delivery of services to regional Australians.

This workshop is free to attend and will draw together world leaders in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and leading industry players to forge a new future for regional Australia.

Be part of the revolution, profit from it, grow your business and your community - take the lead globally.

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Smarter Regions CRC WA Workshop

Date: 3 March 2020

Information to come.




Smarter Regions CRC QLD Workshop

Date: TBA

Information to come.



More Information

For more information on this CRC, please send us a message online or contact:

Bid Development Leader
Professor Javen Qinfeng Shi
Australian Institute for Machine Learning
University of Adelaide, SA, 5005
0423 703 886

Bid Development Leader
Dr Paul Dalby
Australian Institute for Machine Learning
University of Adelaide, SA, 5005
0401 122 204