Excellence in Innovation Australia Trial (EIA)

The University of Newcastle, Charles Darwin University and the University of Tasmania joined with the Australian Technology Network of universities (ATN) and Group of Eight (Go8) universities to participate in a impact assessment exercise: the Excellence in Innovation for Australia (EIA) Trial.

The EIA assessment exercise was developed, to be complementary to but separate from the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) to provide a complete picture of the research performance of Australian universities.

The EIA Trial aimed to identify and demonstrate the contribution that high quality research has made to the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefit of society, by:

  • identifying good research outcomes,
  • justifying the claims being made by institutions of good outcomes and
  • identifying the research underpinning the outcomes/impact.

Implicit in the goal of the EIA Trial was the aim to develop a robust methodology by which these benefits may be; best recognised, portrayed and assessed by institutions and government.


The following universities are participated in the EIA trial:

  • ATN - all five members:
    • Curtin University
    • University of South Australia
    • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
    • University of Technology Sydney
    • Queensland University of Technology
  • Go8:
    • University of New South Wales
    • Melbourne University
    • University of Western Australia
    • University of Queensland
  • University of Newcastle
  • Charles Darwin University
  • University of Tasmania

The initiative of undertaking this trial was based partly on a growing international realisation of the need for universities to demonstrate the benefit or impact of their research to government, to funding providers and to the broader society. This is particularly true in the U.K. where their research assessment mechanism the Research Excellence Framework (REF), has explicitly included a assessment of research impact for their next assessment exercise to be undertaken in 2014.

The Australian Government also has an interest in the assessment of impact of Australia's publicly funded research and has announced a feasibility study to report in early 2013.

Use of Results

  • A consolidated assessment report will be prepared for each institution on results for those units submitted from their own institution.
  • A summary report of results spanning all institutions will be made available to each participating institution.
  • A summary EIA Trial report will be prepared for the peak EIA Governance Group and released to the public following endorsement. This report will evaluate the process of the EIA Trial and make recommendations concerning its potential more widespread adoption.

Final Report

Download the Go8 ATN Final Report - Excellence in Innovation: Research Impacting our Nation's Future - assessing the benefits (PDF 2.8 MB)

Further Information

Visit the ATN / Go8 EIA Trial website for further information or

Lyn McBriarty
Director of Research Services
E: Lyn.McBriarty@newcastle.edu.au
T: (02) 4921 5300