Research Link Australia

Bridging the information gap between research, industry, business, and government for impactful innovation
A group of people gathering in front of a window with stickies on it
Who will benefit
Researchers, industry and businesses, and government

The Challenge

Collaboration among research, industry, business and government is critical for innovation in Australia. It drives productivity, economic growth, improves quality of living and planet health, and enables us to address some of the most pressing problems facing society, like healthcare and medicine, and food security.

An important step to enable this collaboration is connection. Better connection will help researchers and innovators find the collaborators and resources they need. This space is already evolving with:

  • significant government investment to support translation and reshape the research and innovation landscape
  • the data ecosystem improving as more research data and government data become openly available
  • improved quality of information available, which enables the creation of information networks of people, projects, research outputs, etc. for deriving research capability.

The Response

The ARDC has a history of partnering with research organisations, building networks of data and people, providing national infrastructure and information services, with long-term interests in the ‘information ecosystem’ and promoting standards. To further boost the success of all services and activities that are linking universities and research organisations, businesses, industry and government, we are delivering the Research Link Australia (RLA) project with dedicated funding from the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

The project will involve the development of a technical platform and a strategic framework that enable information sharing and improvement, connecting researchers and innovators. The platform will leverage the ARDC’s existing national data catalogue Research Data Australia, information standards, services, technology capabilities and networks.

We have adopted a consultative and co-design approach to working with government bodies, key data agencies, research-industry facilitators, businesses and research communities to ensure we develop and iteratively improve these capabilities together. 

We have worked and will continue to work with community groups in focused activities to understand needs, identify data sources, and shape and test the design and deliverables of the project.

We have established an Advisory Committee with members from diverse backgrounds in research and industry collaborations. The members include:

  • Adrian Burton, Deputy CEO, ARDC
  • George Feast, Deputy Director, CSIRO SME Connect
  • Linda Arnold, Director, Research Strategy and Analysis, Research Policy and Programs, Research Division, Australian Government Department of Education
  • Jeff Cumpston, Manager of Data Analytics, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
  • Mark Hutchinson, President, Science and Technology Australia
  • Martie-Louise Verreynne, Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, University of Queensland
  • Murray Hurps, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, UTS
  • Natasha Simons, Director, National Coordination, ARDC
  • Saraid Billiards, CEO, Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)
  • Stuart Newman, CEO, Therapeutic Innovation Australia
  • Wee-Ming Boon, Director, NHMRC Translation Projects and Advice Research Translation.

Who Will Benefit

  • Universities and research organisations 
  • Industry and businesses
  • Government

Target Outcomes

By the end of Phase 1, we will deliver:

  • a minimum viable RLA platform 
  • a strategic framework and shared service model for sustaining the platform
  • shared informatics standards for improving information quality and linkage
  • gap analysis and a roadmap to guide the development of Phase 2.

Phase 1 is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2024. The ARDC has committed to a further 3 years of operation, development and expansion beyond the dedicated NCRIS funding provided for Phase 1.

Project Updates

We will regularly share updates on the project on this page:

We have also published an interim report, which covers the project context, a draft Shared Strategic Framework, and an environmental scan of sector capabilities and gap analysis. Read the report.

Key Resources

We held a webinar introducing the project in May 2023. Watch the recording:

We also held 4 co-design workshops from May to August 2023. Access slides, notes and summaries for them in this Google Drive folder.