The Leather & Shoe Research Association says $4.2 million it received from the Government's latest round of research grants, means a new phase of development for the organisation.
Director Warren Bryson says almost $3 million will be used to find new processes for premium cattle hides.
The organisation is trying to shift the industry out of a low commodity price trap into making higher quality leathers.
Mr Bryson says a lot of wet blue leather is exported which is a partly processed product that is not fully tanned.
If it's possible to create high value in the finished leather sector by making fit for purpose technical leathers, then wet blue leather can be moved into that category.
Mr Bryson says it would also improve the value of technical leathers, over standard processed leather.
He says an example is a caustic resistant leather that has just been developed and is far superior to anything that is currently on the market.
Mr Bryson says the new leather has already attracted interest from one company, which wants to use LASRA's process to make protective footwear.