Demonstrating return on investment to governments, stakeholders and levy payers, RDC project by RDC project, is a given. A further given is increased collaboration to ensure work undertaken is cost-effective, and the benefit is widely-distributed and adopted.
An additional $200 million from the Federal Government under the Rural R&D for Profit program introduced in 2015 has collaboration at its heart. It’s another opportunity for RDCs to demonstrate the power of leveraging investment.
RDCs collaborate with each other, with research providers, primary producers, processors, exporters, governments and farm networks.
No other nation has a similar system using a levy base with government co-funding to undertake research that ties industry, government and research communities. The model is envy of the globe – it is a world class all-encompassing network built on effective partnerships and leveraged outcomes.
RDCs are major partners in the National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Framework, which aims to improve efficiency and coordination of rural research efforts.
The Council of Rural Research and Development Corporation’s 2010 report, Increasing Effectiveness and Efficiency of RDC Investments Through Collaboration, indicates the majority of RD&E investment is collaborative. About 80 per cent of RD&E investment by RDCs involves a financial or significant in-kind investment from third parties, including other RDCs, state and Commonwealth Government agencies, research institutes, corporations and industry investment trusts.
Of that 80 per cent, 71 per cent is in collaboration with non-RDC parties to achieve industry-specific goals. Nine per cent of investment involves two or more RDCs working together or with other non-RDC parties.