“Universities have worked closely with industry and Government on this important and very complex project. Many will take part in the voluntary, year-long pilot,” said Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
“We understand that the pilot – to be run by the Australian Research Council – is designed to road-test new arrangements to collect data about the impact and engagement of Australian research.”
“We’re all working towards a system that will give us an even clearer picture of the vast benefits to the nation derived from great Australian research.”
“As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), the assessment will examine how universities are translating their research into economic, social and other benefits.”
“That snapshot will demonstrate and encourage even greater collaboration between universities, industries and other end-users of research,” Ms Robinson said.
“Australian researchers are global leaders in new fields like quantum computing, and medical research innovations such as spray-on skin for the burns treatment.”
“A careful balance between basic or curiosity-driven and secondary research must be maintained to keep the research ecosystem in good health.”
“Without basic research the well of ideas and knowledge will run dry.”
“We have a proud history of innovation born of basic research – from Ian Frazer’s Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine, to Howard Florey’s mass production of penicillin,” said Ms Robinson.
Over the past 15 years, investment in basic research has dropped from around 40 per cent of our R&D spend to 23 per cent.
“Some Australian research will result in direct commercial outcomes, but some will not. That should never be the only test of the value of research.”
“Some university research will give us a better understanding of our place in the universe, increase wellbeing in remote Australia, prevent environmental degradation or increase yields in major industries such as agriculture and mining.”
“The Engagement and Impact Assessment is designed to capture the breadth of benefits that flow from university research as well as encouraging collaboration with industry and community.”
“We look forward to seeing the first year pilot swing into action and to seeing the results,” Ms Robinson said.
For more information about the Engagement and Impact Assessment visit the ARC website.