Less than two years ago, UTS made a significant commitment to boost our research capacity and the scale of impact of our research. UTS’s research reputation in both Australia and overseas has risen, supported by our $40 million Research Investment Strategy.
In the last year, UTS has also taken on a leadership role in significant national collaborative efforts including the Creative Industries Innovation Centre, the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government and the Intelligent Grid Cluster. These demonstrate our innovative, collaborative approach to research has been recognised.
However, the higher education sector has, and continues to undergo, a period of significant change which will have a considerable impact on research here at UTS. The introduction of Sustainable Research Excellence and the Joint Research Engagement initiatives will see changes in the way Australian Competitive Grant research is funded.
Submissions for Excellence in Research Australia (ERA), the Federal Government’s framework to assess and evaluate the quality of Australian research, will begin later this year. The data collected will allow the ARC to detail, by institution and by discipline, those areas where Australia is internationally competitive and which are emerging research areas.
The outcomes of ERA will have major consequences for the sector; they will impact on government grant funding and undoubtedly the ERA rankings will impact on our reputation as a teaching and learning, and research-intensive institution. As Professor Milbourne stated previously, 2010 is set to be a watershed year for UTS. In terms of research, it is paramount that we continue to build our capability on the foundations of the Research Investment Strategy.
Our focus will be five-fold: building our collaborative and cross-disciplinary research approach within and across the faculties; further increasing our research strengths clustered around areas like health, sustainability and the built environment, creative and civil societies, business innovation, intelligent systems and communications, and future services and industries; continuing to strengthen and deepen connectivity between learning, teaching and research; developing the next generation of researchers which will not only attract outstanding researchers to UTS but develop the leading professionals Australia needs; and continuing to develop research partnerships with industry and community groups to solve Australia’s biggest research challenges.
Clearly continuing to increase the scale, excellence and impact of our research is paramount to cementing our research reputation and helping us achieve our purpose and goals laid out in the strategic plan.
2010 is going to be a very challenging but exciting year for research at UTS. I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by staff, and look forward to working with you all to underline our position as a university that is innovative and produces relevant, quality research.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Photographer: Hoc Ngo