Research Vital to Innovation, Progress and Region's Status

Article excerpt

LAST week USC conducted its third annual research conference, showcasing its most successful projects.

These included work in aquaculture, the health professions, child safety, the social aspects of sustainability, and creative writing.

Keynote speaker Hagen Stehr AO, Clean Seas Tuna Limited and Australian Tuna Fisheries chairman, praised the ability of USC's scientists to work with industry. The conference marked a watershed in the development of research at USC.

It was the first time it could be reported to the conference that research income, refereed publications and numbers of graduating research students were all rising steadily. Why does this matter?

First, research income (from competitive grants), refereed publications and numbers of graduating research students are the core measures of research productivity throughout the world.

Second, the operating grant that all Australian universities receive from the Commonwealth is based on student enrolments. This funds the normal research activities undertaken by all academic staff, but it is insufficient for the development of major research programs. …