In August 2014, the Australian government commissioned KPMG to undertake an independent review of the 27 research infrastructure projects funded under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) 2013. The NCRIS projects were assessed and rated across their governance, effectiveness, efficiency, integration, financial management and compliance and strategic policy alignment to NCRIS.
The review findings include:
NCRIS has made a substantial contribution towards scientific research capability as well as research outcomes in Australia.
A key factor contributing to the success of the programme has been the strategic allocation of resources, through a road mapping process that collaboratively identified research infrastructure needs and required funding.
NCRIS addresses a form of “market failure”; without Government investment the vast majority of these facilities and resources would not be funded by the private sector or even by research organisations.
Projects are generally of a mature nature and overall addressed the criteria in the project review framework to a high degree. Over a relatively large number of projects (27) with complex requirements, it is unusual to have so many projects that score consistently high.
Projects had implemented effective governance arrangements that had been designed to meet the needs of the projects. Projects were highly collaborative, and this collaborative approach has achieved significant cultural change for the academic community.
There has been a significant level of co-investment, with every dollar invested in NCRIS projects by the Australian Government realising an additional $1.06 in co-investment.