Pact for Impact: Business leaders investing in science research

Pact for Impact brings science and business together

New data reveals more than 8 in 10 business leaders believe investing in science could solve challenges faced by their organisation in the next five years. However, one in four Australian businesses do not invest in research and development (R&D). 

The University of New South Wales’ Faculty of Science (UNSW Science) has made an Australian-first commitment to make and measure the impact of science on the real-world through a new initiative – the Pact for Impact

The Pact for Impact is an initiative that strengthens partnerships between academics, industry and the broader community by measuring the real-world impact of scientific research and development.  This commitment ensures Australia remains the world-leading destination for innovation and technology while future-proofing science for years to come. 

Science can help businesses do better

Recent data commissioned by UNSW Science indicates four in five (78 per cent) Australian business  leaders say they use science to create impact and achieve business outcomes.  

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However, Australian businesses invest less than seven per cent of their annual turnover into research and development, with a quarter (26 per cent) not investing in science at all.  

Investing in research is perceived as a luxury, with three in five (60 per cent) business leaders saying  they would invest in science if they had the funds to do so.  

The Pact for Impact initiative aims to strengthen connection and collaboration between the business  industry and the science community, enhancing pathways for future partnerships and investment and  enabling greater societal impact.  

Dean of UNSW Science, Scientia Professor Sven Rogge, says without partnering with science, businesses aren’t making the impact they otherwise could. 

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“The pandemic proved investment in science is not only smart business but also necessary for society and the economy. Industries want to invest in science and tangibly measure their impact but don’t know where or how to begin. That’s why we’re calling on Australian businesses, as well as not-for profit and government organisations, to sign the Pact for Impact,” Scientia Professor Rogge says. 

“Both universities and businesses share the challenge of being able to define and measure their  impact and its real-world meaning. UNSW Science has developed new “Impact Indicators” that will  help us measure the tangible impact of science on the economy, society and environment. 

“Our goal is to engage all sectors, from manufacturing and health to finance and energy, to join us and commit and invest in science not only for the betterment of business, but broader society.” 

Making impact through science

Chief Technical Officer from Cochlear, Jan Janssen, has demonstrated the company’s commitment to making impact through science by signing the Pact for Impact and believes it’s the necessary first step for industry leaders to engage with science. 

“Cochlear and UNSW have a long history of collaboration. This has not only helped to advance hearing science, but also improved the lives of thousands of people worldwide through access to better hearing care,” Mr Janssen says. 

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“Turning science into commercial products can take years. It’s not something you can do alone. The Pact for Impact reinforces how through genuine collaboration between business, academia and government, we can advance, understand and measure the true impact of innovation and drive real life societal, economic and environmental benefits.” 

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