Future Cities Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program is administered by the Federal Government through AusIndustry, a division within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The CRC Program aims to foster high-quality research to solve industry-identified problems through industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry entities and research organisations.


Future Cities Participant Prospectus

Astrolabe Group provided strategic advisory services including project management, bid strategy, partnership strategy, advocacy and communications to develop and submit the $150 million Future Cities CRC bid in the latest funding round of 2018.

The proposed Future Cities CRC will be Australia’s national research and innovation hub for the future of cities. The CRC will engage with government, industry and community to undertake research aimed at developing and implementing integrated science-based policy and practice solutions to current and future urban challenges.

There will be four program areas: Smart Connected Places; Efficient Integrated Infrastructure; City Analytics and Foresighting; and Liveable Cities and Regions.

Astrolabe Group led conversations with government and industry. We secured partners and defined projects proposed to be delivered through an industry-led collaboration over the next ten years.

Working closely with the acting CEO, the team secured over 90 partners from industry, government and academia across Australia.

The Future Cities CRC has progressed to the second round of funding consideration and are currently preparing a business case.

Read more about the Future Cities CRC 


Western Sydney City Deal

The Western Sydney City Deal is a partnership between the Australian Government, NSW Government, and local governments of the Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith and Wollondilly. The Deal sets our a vision, partnerships and deliverables for the future of Western Sydney and it’s people.

Astrolabe Group was engaged by the eight councils in the Western Sydney City Deal to develop content and negotiate on behalf of local governments with the State and Federal Government.

A multi-sectoral, and multi-agency Deal, our team worked across three levels of government to identify areas of alignment to establish collaboration principles, a governance framework and the thirty-eight initiatives included in the Deal.

With a strong understanding of the public administration context of the three levels of government, we were extremely effective in progressing and prioritising the issues identified by local government.

Using a mix of advocacy, technical advice and drawing upon our relationships, we were able to ensure that the eight councils in the deal articulated their needs, wants and offers to strengthen the Western Sydney City Deal.

This is the first deal of its kind in Australia, setting our a clear vision and funded initiatives to build a region into the future, delivering a thriving place and people.

“Your professional advice, guidance and political expertise played a critical role in convincing all the players to remain at the table. It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with you” – Western City Deal Councils

For more on the Western Sydney City Deal visit the following:

Western Sydney City Deal

City deal set to transform Western Sydney - Western Sydney University


Western City - City Deal

The Western City - City Deal brings together three levels of government to deliver transformative projects to the residents of Western Sydney. The deal offers Government commitment to investment, particularly in transport, jobs and infrastructure and marks a fundamental change in how our region is planned and developed. Hear what our leaders have to say about this landmark announcement.

Posted by Penrith New West on Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mastercard City Possible

Mastercard are pioneering City Possible, a new model of partnerships that brings together cities with partners such as the private sector to solve system-wide challenges. By codeveloping, piloting and scaling solutions, it strengthens the new triple bottom line: people, cities and businesses.


Astrolabe Group conducts an ideation workshop with Liverpool City Council as part of City Possible.

Astrolabe Group was engaged to provide strategic advice and project delivery with Liverpool City Council through City Possible. Astrolabe Group has coordinated with Mastercard, Liverpool City Council and partners to examine how we revitalise the city’s CBD night time economy to develop an active centre with a successful local economy.

Our team has taken Council through a design thinking approach to explore how partnerships through City Possible could support their needs.

Liverpool City Council wants to ensure that any growth in population is supported by a strengthening of existing commercial centres like the Liverpool central business district, attracting institutions and private sector investment to offer goods, services and improved amenity closer to new communities. Stronger centres will contribute to delivering a “30 minute city” a fundamental organising principle for the new structure of a growing Sydney, reducing inequality by promoting access and choice.

Through a series of workshops our team has help refine the challenge to be tackled – a need to revitalise the night time economy, explore the needs and opportunities of the users involved through persona mapping and begin a process of solution ideation. We are now exploring new ways to support and encourage local businesses to remain open in the evening with an initial focus around planned community events that are happening in the area.

As well as working with Liverpool City Council as a founding member of City Possible, Astrolabe Group has been providing strategic advice to further build the network across other Australian councils and partners. Five Councils have now signed MOUs to join the City Possible Network. The inaugural meeting of the network will be at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona this November.