Idea to impact: a framework for the strategic management of investment in road transport research

Mike Shackleton, William Young

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Research into transport quality and needs is fundamental to Australia’s economic, social and environmental well-being. Transport has been identified by Australia’s Chief Scientist’s office as one of nine national research priority areas. This paper progresses the development of a model for strategic management of investment in transport research in Australia. Recent research has suggested that it is very difficult to establish how much the public sector spends on road infrastructure research in Australia. Intuitively, the same problem would apply to transport research generally. This makes it difficult to determine precisely what the return on investment (RoI) is. Without that, prioritisation and management of this extremely important investment becomes difficult. There is therefore a need to develop a model for the strategic management of investment in transport research in Australia. Some key desirable characteristics of the framework to be established for this purpose are derived. Many of these characteristics are not explicitly dealt with in current transport research management. This paper explores other fields of research and development (R&D) management and assesses their potential against expressed target characteristics. An allocation matrix based on the analysis, and guidance to practitioners on using this matrix to allocate research, development and implementation (R,D&I) funding is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2015 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 30 Sept 20152 Oct 2015
Conference number: 37th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2015
Abbreviated titleATRF 2015
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