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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 2017-18, Australia’s 1,250 cotton growers and the Australian Government will co-invest $22.4 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. (Read more about our fellow RDCs, and the collabroative work we undertake together, here)

The Australian Government's National Science and Research Priorities and R&D Priorities for Agriculture provide an overarching framework for public investment in cotton research and development. CRDC’s investments are closely aligned with these priorities.

Our Vision

A globally competitive and responsible cotton industry.

Our Purpose

Enhancing the performance of the Australian cotton industry and community through investment in research and development, and its application.

Our Goal

  • 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.

Our Board

CRDC has an eight-member Board, consisting of a Chair (appointed by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), 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

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. 

Mr Finney is a member of the Cotton Innovation Network, the Agriculture Senior Officials Research and Innovation Committee, and the Council of Rural RDCs Executive Committee. He is a past member of the Advisory Board QLD DAF program on Agricultural Robotics at QUT, chair of the Australian Cotton Growers Research Association, and 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.

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. 

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.

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

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.  

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.

Professor Les Copeland

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. 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.

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.

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

Ms Rosemary Richards B.Ag.Ec, 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 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.

 Bruce Finney 
 Executive Director



 Ian Taylor
 General Manager R&D Investment


 Warwick Waters
 CottonInfo Program Manager


 Ruth Redfern
 Communications Manager 


 Allan Williams
 R&D Program Manager



 Jane Trindall

 R&D Program Manager


 Susan Maas 
R&D Program Manager 


 Graeme Tolson 
 General Manager Business and Finance

 Dianne Purcell
 Executive Assistant

 Emily Luff 


 Megan Baker
Project Administration Assistant


 Amy Withington 
Project Administration Assistant 



 Peter Harvey

 IT Manager 


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.


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 the Rural Industries RDC, 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.

Last year, we collectively invested 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:


CRDC Funding Agreement 2015-19

The partnership between Australian cotton growers and the Australian Government to co-invest in R&D through CRDC is formalised in this Funding Agreement, which covers the 2015-19 period. This Agreement between the Government and CRDC sets out expectations about CRDC's performance, transparency and accountability to levy-payers, the Government and the public. 

Download the CRDC Funding Agreement 2015-19.

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.

Download the CRDC Strategic R&D Plan 2013-18.

CRDC Strategic Plan 2018-23

CRDC is now developing the next five-year strategic plan - the CRDC Strategic Plan 2018-23 - in consultation with key stakeholders. CRDC are coordinating a series of consultation and engagement activities throughout 2017 and 2018, to seek stakeholder input and feedback. The information gathered during this process will be used to inform the development of the Plan, including the objectives, target outcomes and measures of success. This process is outlined in detail in the Consultation Plan for the development of the CRDC 2018-23 Strategic Plan.

Download the Consultation Plan. 

CRDC Annual Operational Plan 2017-18

Under the CRDC’s five year Strategic Plan, CRDC has established five Annual Operational Plans – each of which became 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 Operational Plan outlines how the goals will be achieved. The CRDC Annual Operational Plan for 2017-18 sets out the fifth and final year of operation under CRDC’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan. 

Download the CRDC Annual Operational Plan.

CRDC Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework provides a tool by which CRDC can evaluate progress towards, and acheivement of, the stated outcomes detailed in the CRDC Strategic Plan. 

Download the CRDC Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Annual Report 2016-17

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 2016-17 period. Previous Annual Report's are available from CRDC on request.

Download the CRDC Annual 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:

Index list of files July - December 2017.

Index list of files January - June 2017.

Index list of files July - December 2016.

Index list of files January - June 2016.

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 2017; and/or 
  • (B) Have been entered into during the 12 months prior to 31 December 2017

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 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017.


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 Position

Positions available within CRDC are advertised here as they arise.