The Australia-Indonesia Centre’s Research Footprint: A wonderful legacy in numbers

There are many ways I could have begun this final Research Director’s blog as I prepare to leave The Australia-Indonesia Centre after three wonderful years. The best place to start though is to take stock of what the Centre has put in place, for this shall be the legacy that will help shape the Centre’s longer-term investments in research activity.

So here are the numbers:

  • Between April 2014 to June 2017 the AIC had engaged 316 researchers across 67 research projects. In line with AIC investment principles, all projects had Australian and Indonesian collaborators.
  • While 54% (172) of the researchers are based in Australia, 54% of all our researchers are Indonesian by ethnicity.
  • In addition to our 142 researchers based in Indonesia, we have a total of 26 Indonesians working across our four Australian university partners.
  • The AIC has engaged 52 undergraduate students and 49 postgraduate students in research capacity building activities.
  • 30 of our 49 postgraduate students embedded in 21 AIC projects as Research Assistants.
  • Combining the researchers and students, and taking into account the dual role of some students, the Centre’s total research community stands at 387.
  • Of our 67 research projects, 30 have been completed while the remainder are due to report in 2018.
  • Our 316 researchers work within 7 domains covering attitudinal research, strategic insights and 5 shared Australian and Indonesian challenges (food and agriculture, health, energy, urban water and infrastructure).
  • 7 researchers have contributed to two or more research clusters.
  • The Centre has invested significantly in all 5 of our Australian Participating Institutions and all 7 of our Indonesian Participating Institutions.
  • These institutions have also engaged a further 13 research institutions in Indonesia and 16 in Australia.
  • All 67 projects have had some level of interdisciplinary participation.
  • At least 17 disciplinary domains have been utilised across projects, with a minimum of 8 utilised in the Infrastructure Cluster and up to 13 in the Energy Cluster.
  • All clusters engage both STEM and non-STEM researchers, with 42% of researchers covering 8 of the socio-economic domains.

There are many more numbers both in addition to these as well as underpinning them. The numbers telling the story of Australia-Indonesia Centre research so far can be found below.

There will also be many more numbers to come, as I spend my last few days looking at industry and government stakeholder numbers, financial numbers and output numbers.

So, what does this all mean and how did it come about? In short, the challenge put to the Centre through its overarching goal and objectives was to provide a research investment framework based on applied research. The areas of challenge in which we were asked to invest demanded bilateral, multi-organisational and interdisciplinary approaches to the research. They demanded that different projects add value to one another within research clusters. And they demanded that many researchers in both countries who had never worked with researchers of the other needed to get together to form new partnerships traversing new and exciting terrain.

I think I can leave content that not only has the Centre’s research addressed the applied research goal, but as importantly it has addressed the Centre’s goals of improving the understanding between Australians and Indonesians and improving the relationships and engagement between business, government, academics and the community in both countries.

All with more than a little help from my 387 research friends.