Australia (RMIT University) Building an impact-focused research and innovation eco-system

This month marks the official public launch and new website for RMIT’s Enabling Impact Platforms – interdisciplinary structures that are uniquely placed to rapidly connect research teams with partners in industry, government, community and academia to deliver solutions that address complex problems.

The concept was first launched six years ago as Enabling Capability Platforms, which have since been independently reviewed and found to have delivered capability development and collaborative research opportunities unrestricted by former discipline-based structures.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice President Professor Calum Drummond AO said the renewal of this structure and leadership group, with several new directors, also came with a new name that marked the program’s maturity.

What were once foundational and focused on capability-building are now increasingly focused on inter-disciplinary capability deployment as a mechanism for driving research impact.

“The Enabling Impact Platforms are well positioned to coordinate capability across the University to deliver research outcomes with a strong focus on impact and translation, collaborating with Colleges, Schools, the R&I Portfolio and external stakeholders,” he said.

Drummond said bringing different views and expertise together to develop practical, sustainable and ethical solutions to address societal challenges and capture beneficial opportunities is increasingly what drives and defines the RMIT research ecosystem.

“Our goal is to maximise the delivery of benefit to the communities in which we operate; regularly beginning at the local community level, and ideally scaling to national, regional and global communities,” he said.

The Enabling Impact Platforms will support RMIT to scale up its ability to conduct applied transdisciplinary research, building impactful partnerships and accelerating the translation of research.

The Platforms have five clear roles:

  • Enable and catalyse interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral engagement and collaboration
  • Lead the community to construct and conceptualise initiatives at scale
  • Enable effective research translation
  • Foster an impact focused research culture
  • Provide strategic thought leadership