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Research excellence delivering exceptional outcomes for Australia

Research excellence delivering exceptional outcomes for Australia

The Australian Research Council (ARC) recently released the Impact assessment of ARC-funded research report by ACIL Allen, finding that for every $1 of research funded through the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), $3.32 is generated for the Australian economy.

The report also illustrates the diverse nature of NCGP-funded research, offering detailed examples of research providing major benefits for the nation, from economic and environmental outcomes to social and cultural impacts.

Included in the report is the work of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology, which shows how Australia is leading the world in developing full-scale quantum systems. Among its successes, the Centre has generated 4 spin-out companies with over 100 FTE associated jobs and provided high quality training that will support Australia’s capacity and capability to capitalise on the emerging global quantum industry.

ARC-funded research has also contributed to the lives of First Nations peoples, with the report highlighting the Indigenous persistence in formal learning project. This research has had a profound impact on Indigenous student retention and graduation rates in higher education and saw the development of a program which supports approximately 6,000 students at 4 different universities.

Additionally, the report shows the societal benefits of research excellence through a case study on Changing the law to protect survivors of domestic and family violence (DFV), a project which informed the introduction of 2 state-based laws, and aims to improve legal system responsiveness and efficiency, having introduced training materials on DFV to 240 legal professionals and students.

The projects featured in the report demonstrate how the NCGP supports curiosity, innovation and excellence from basic to applied research, and how this research generates new knowledge that delivers substantial impacts over time.

As part of their work, ACIL Allen reviewed the ARC’s support for research impact. We accept the 4 opportunities for improvement that the report identified. To address them we will

  • develop an impact evaluation framework for the NCGP to provide greater clarity on impact reporting for the research sector. It will take into account the upcoming policy review of ARC programs and seek to align with Australia’s national research evaluations
  • strengthen NCGP impact data collection and reporting, starting with a pilot of post-project reporting for the Industry Fellowships Program
  • explore data-driven approaches to the NCGP impact assessment that could leverage the redesign of Australia's national evaluations of research quality and impact, and
  • enhance our communication of research impact starting with multimedia showcases of the case studies from ACIL Allen’s report.

To find out more, including other projects of note, read the:

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