We know Australia is a clever country and now, thanks to the Gillard Labor Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative, for the first time we can see exactly how our country’s research efforts compare to the rest of the world.
Announcing the outcomes of the first full ERA evaluation, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said when it comes to funding quality research it is important the Australian Government fully understands Australia’s strengths and weaknesses.
“The Australian Government invests billions of dollars in research each year. ERA gives the Australian taxpayer assurance that their money is being invested wisely and gives the Government a clear idea of the research areas we need to focus on for improvement and continued excellence,” Senator Carr said.
“The ERA 2010 National Report shows us that we have a large number of research strengths — we should be very proud of this. Our performance in areas like history, immunology and quantum physics is truly outstanding.
“But the report also shows we need to do better in some areas. This is to be expected when you conduct an all encompassing assessment of a country's research effort in universities. The evidence the ERA evaluation has given us will help us find ways to improve.
“I thank the Australian Research Council, led by Professor Margaret Sheil, for their extraordinary work in delivering this world-leading research assessment initiative.
“I also thank the participating institutions, Research Evaluation Committees and all individuals and organisations who contributed to the development and implementation of ERA.”
ERA outcomes will inform the allocation of funding through the Sustainable Research Excellence program, and will be included as a key measure of research performance in the Government’s Compacts negotiations with universities.
Outcomes of the ERA 2010 process are available on the Australian Research Council (ARC) website at www.arc.gov.au/era/outcomes_2010.
The ERA initiative is a key element of the Government’s ten year Innovation Agenda, Powering Ideas. To view the agenda, visit www.innovation.gov.au.
For information about the ERA initiative, visit www.arc.gov.au/era.