Minister’s Foreword

Minister’s forward: Portrait photo of Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training

I am pleased to present the State of Australian University Research 2015-16: Volume 1 ERA National Report (ERA 2015), a comprehensive assessment, by discipline, of the quality of research conducted in Australia’s higher education institutions.

In Australia, and around the world, high quality research is driving innovation that saves lives, answers social and environmental imperatives, improves economic productivity and growth, and creates the jobs of the future. The Australian Government will invest $9.7 billion in 2015-16 into research across education, industry, health, defence, environment and agriculture that will help ensure the Australia of the future is agile, creative and innovative, and able to compete with the best in the world.

ERA 2015’s internationally benchmarked data shows that Australia’s research effort, conducted in universities across the nation and in every broad discipline group, continues to perform well-above world standard.

It also showcases the rich research diversity, strength and excellence across the spectrum of Australian universities.

With ERA 2015, Australia now has longitudinal data on our research effort since 2003 – an invaluable resource for universities, industry and other users of research, and policymakers.

This will be used to help map progress in meeting the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities, and corresponding Practical Research Challenges.

ERA is also a quality assurance mechanism for Australia’s universities, which reported $9.9 billion in research income between 2011 and 2013.

Encouraging stronger incentives for research-industry collaboration and better translating research into commercial outcomes – as promoted by the Government’s Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research strategy – is a high priority so as to maximise the economic and social outcomes of Australia’s high-quality research.

I congratulate the Australian Research Council and all of the universities that contributed to ERA 2015 for their commitment to Australian research investment, performance, and discovery.

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training