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Return on Investment

Land & Water Australia has been developed a comprehensive approach to estimating the Return on Investment (ROI) from its research and development (R&D) portfolio.

The key driving question was What impact has Land & Water Australia’s research had on achieving the sustainable use and management of Australia’s natural resources?

33 innovations and programs (incorporating 630 projects) have been analysed. These cover around 25 per cent of Land & Water Australia’s appropriation since 1990 and a higher proportion of completed projects.

The ROI results shown below are highly conservative, both in terms of the assumptions made and the range of benefits covered. This also relates to the large proportion of environmental and knowledge benefits, that are difficult to evaluate and in being conservative in the analysis are likely to be underestimated.

To account effectively and fairly for returns to the nation from publicly-funded research and development, Land & Water Australia sought to:

  • Understand the impact of its total Research and Development investment since 1990

  • Identify environmental and social as well as economic returns

  • Estimate returns conservatively

  • Use consistent, independent benefit-cost analysis

  • Understand how past innovations have performed

  • Communicate the impact of innovations flowing from Research and Development

  • Ensure its evaluation methods and analyses are fully transparent

  • Allow for continuous improvement and regular updating of the Return on Investment analysis

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