Northern Australia has been the focus of much of the past and current collaboration among the partner institutions. This has been an enabling factor in the establishment of the CRN relationship.

The newly established North Australian Marine Research Alliance (NAMRA - a Research Collaboration between AIMS, CDU, ANU and NTG) offers one example of already established relationships, but others include involvement in CRC and ARC collaborations and joint publications and supervision of PhD Students.

The Cairns Institute at JCU and the Northern Institute at CDU have already identified areas of joint collaboration that will increase the knowledge base and assist in attaining the critical mass required for long-term sustainable development.