The Australian Government and Department of Innovation Industry, Science and Research Collaborative Research Networks program (CRN) supports less research-intensive and smaller regional institutions by encouraging them to form collaborative linkages with more research-intensive institutions. These collaborations focus on areas of common interest and aim to enhance the research capacity of all involved. As part of the CRN program the University of Ballarat (UB), in partnership with Monash University (MU), The University of Melbourne (UoM), Deakin University (DU), are building an alliance of research excellence. This Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative will explore new ways of strengthening regional “well-being” and driving regional rejuvenation. The Collaborative Research Network for Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative contains three major elements of research.
The University of Ballarat project management procedures have been followed for this initiative. Responsibility for the CRN Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative lies with the Project Director, Dr Jonathan Wearne, and at the strategic level the Executive Sponsor Professor Frank Stagnitti, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UB. The CRN Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative is overseen by three committees, which provide governance at different levels.
These committees are: the Research Leadership Team (RLT) (x3, one for each of the Elements), the Coordination & Budget Committee (CBC) and the Strategic Management Committee (SMC). Each committee has its own terms of reference. All projects within the three elements of the CRN Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative are overseen by a Research Leadership Team (RLT). Each RLT is chaired by the Element Leader and has membership made up of key Element personnel.
Agreements signed between UB and each Partner Institution in the Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative detail the planned outcomes of the initiative, major activities and milestones, key responsibilities, reporting requirements and payment schedule. A dispute management protocol and steps to establish effective liaison between institutions have been include in these agreements, which have been signed with all partners. Key dates for activities and milestones are laid out in the funding agreement signed with the Commonwealth on the 24/06/2011.
These components of the initiative will be integrated to focus on regional change drivers, impacts and solutions. Strategic collaborations for each element of the project will promote specialisation and develop capability in areas of current and emerging research strengths. This is in accord with UB’s mission to produce world-class research in support of renewal and innovation in regional Australia. The Collaborative Research Network for Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative started in June of 2011 and will run until November of 2014.