A national review of research policy and funding has called for a greater focus on promoting collaboration between universities and business so that research results in innovative commercial outcomes and greater economic returns. 

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham today released the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements report.

Minister Birmingham said while the review acknowledges that Australia’s research output and quality ranks high by international standards, Australia is failing to capitalise on research opportunities and to convert research outcomes into economic returns. 

“We need to strengthen collaboration in Australia between our higher education and research institutions, and with business and industry,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The clear message from the review is that greater collaboration is essential if Australia is to achieve the full commercial benefits of the high levels of cutting edge research being done in our universities and research institutions.”

Minister Birmingham said the review, led by Dr Ian Watt AO, had gathered insights and feedback from experts in research and industry sectors about what works and how stronger links can be built for the benefit of all Australians.

“The Watt Review paints a clear picture of the need for real cultural change in Australia about how we identify and back good research ideas,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“This means universities must reach out more to industry, and industry in return must link in with universities to make the best use of our world-class research.

“The Turnbull Government has been considering the recommendations of the review as it develops its National Innovation and Science Agenda.”

The recommendations of the Watt Review include ways to strengthen Australia’s research system, encourage greater collaboration between universities and industry, and how to translate Australia’s high-quality research into economic and social benefits.

The report and more detail on the working group is available at: www.education.gov.au/review-research-policy-and-funding-arrangements   

Senator Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Department Media: media@education.gov.au