Achieving NCRIS infrastructure

The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy is ticking over nicely, according to a new report on 2015-2017 results, based  on what NCRIS facilities advise.

well cited: Research using its kit is well-regarded, with a field-weighted citation impact of 2.07, (suggesting the average citation for NCRIS-utilised research is twice for similar pubs). In 2015 34 per cent of NCRIC-based publications were in the top 10 per cent, rising to 37 per cent in ’17.

users: The report also backs the Group of Eight claim to be the nation’s research powerhouse, accounting for 21 per cent of NCRIS projects accessed by universities, compared to the Australian Technology Network (16 per cent), the Innovative Research Universities (14 per cent), unaffiliated unis (11 per cent) and the regionals (10 per cent). Off-shore institutions account for the balance.

And NCRIS people are mainly at the pointy end of research, with 79 per cent being tech staff.

problems: But among the good news the survey reveals just a quarter of staff are women, which did not move from 2015 to 2017. And half of projects are expected to reach end of life by 2025, although 14 per cent of technology platforms have an indefinite lifespan, subject to funding.

not to worry: NCRIS staff should not worry about ageing infrastructure, because they have many friends. When then education minister Christopher Pyne mused in 2015 about cutting funding for the strategy if his undergraduate deregulation package failed there was an outcry among researchers. The Group of Eight took out advertisements in The Australian and Fairfax press opposing the idea. (Oh, come on, you remember Fairfax). And NCRIS facility leaders got a case to explain what a great job their gear did to a Senate committee inquiry.


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