Keston Technologies Services

Collaborative Multi-disciplinary Research Facilities

Feasibility Study into the Establishment of Collaborative Multi-disciplinary Research Facilities focused on Tropical Science in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia

 

 

Project overview

In June 2011, the Premier of Western Australia announced a $63 million package to support the Government’s Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy. The Premier said that “the strategy is one of the most significant conservation initiatives in West Australian history, befitting of a region of such international significance.” Successive Commonwealth Governments have also acknowledged this need by funding research programs. These programs are generally aimed at all of tropical Australia, not just the Kimberley. Given the current situation, the work was commissioned to explore whether existing and future research in the Kimberley would benefit from the establishment of new research facilities in the region, and if so, what form any new facilities would take.

This project was undertaken by Keston Technologies, working in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence for Natural Resource Management (CENRM) of the University of Western Australia (UWA).

 

Issues

The number of stakeholders involved in research in the Kimberley are numerous and diverse. It was important to capture all of the activities and initiatives underway and to identify gaps and opportunities for future activities. Gathering and analysing all of this information was the key challenge and was undertaken through an extensive program of stakeholder interviews, supported by a wide-ranging survey in order to capture quantitative information about perceptions and activities.

 

Outcomes achieved

The study was able to:

  • identify research groups operating within and contributing to the region;
  • map the existing research infrastructure in the Kimberley;
  • identify potential growth areas for research in the Kimberley and assess any impediments to establishing appropriate research facilities in the region;
  • describe the nature and scope of research facilities required to meet the future demand for research in the Kimberley;
  • provide recommendations on how existing facilities might be enhanced and better utilised;
  • assess the potential demand for new research facilities and the extent to which new facilities would facilitate better research outcomes;
  • explore possible governance models for new facilities;
  • identify potential sources of State Government funding and the extent of potential external co-investment; and
  • provide draft recommendations to the Government on the feasibility of establishing appropriate research facilities and how best to meet any present gaps in regional research infrastructure.