I am pleased to present the inaugural Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018-19 National Report, produced by the Australian Research Council (ARC). This report provides the results of the Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI 2018). It also provides insight into how universities are engaging with research end-users, such as industry, and showcases the social, economic, environmental and cultural benefits arising from university research. 

The report marks the delivery of EI 2018 which was part of the Government’s commitment to further university-industry collaboration under the National Innovation and Science Agenda. Australia’s universities are producing world class research and, with the release of this report, Australian universities have demonstrated their strong track record in addressing core research issues that impact on our society. 

The report highlights excellent examples of impact that have already been achieved from research, with 43 per cent of impact submissions receiving a high rating. University research is making an impact in a wide range of areas, for example, through the delivery of cutting-edge technology to support the Australian economy, addressing the challenges of food security and climate change, and in bringing communities closer together through improved parenting programs. 

The EI assessment also examined how universities supported their researchers to engage with the beneficiaries of their research. There are positive results here too and Australian universities and researchers have pro-actively collaborated with industry, disseminated research findings to the wider public, and provided support for infrastructure and technology to enable academic research to be translated into tangible, real-world benefits. Many universities also have encouraged businesses and others to invest in their research.

This report by the ARC assures us that the Australian public can be confident that Australian universities are conducting research that is in their interests. The results and the information contained in the report allow us to see and better understand the strengths of universities. I encourage the entire university sector to look to those good performers for ideas on how to identify the best ways to engage industry, community and policy makers with their research. Such an approach will only help ensure that Australian taxpayers and the Australian community more broadly achieve the maximum return on the extensive investment in our universities. 

I thank all participating universities and the ARC for their efforts in ensuring this inaugural EI assessment was a success.
Minster for Education 
The Hon Dan Tehan MP