Table of Contents
A Consortium Approach to Marine Science
The Origins of VIMS and Its Consortium Approach
Benefits and Problems of a Consortium Approach
Realizing the Benefits, Overcoming the Problems
VIMS' Role in the Consortium
Building on the Consortium Approach
The Origins of VIMS and Its Consortium Approach (continued)
Figure 1 shows the total annual operating income to VIMS in the last 8 years, against which is set that proportion which derives from Victorian government appropriation. It highlights several points:
These numbers illustrate that it is possible to build, largely independently of direct government funding, an organization that has a reputation for scientific excellence and combines this with relevance to the needs of users. The Institute's Council feels strongly about this achievement, but even more strongly about the fact that the organization has been able to demonstrate unambiguously the merits of a consortium approach. VIMS' single most important achievement since 1984 has been the fostering of a diverse, competitive, intellectual resource for Victoria and Australia, where none, or a more modest and narrowly-focussed one, previously existed.
Figure 1 Growth of VIMS' Programs, 1984 to 1991.
- the growth, at about 25% compounding annually, in the second half of the 1980s. The plateau in the last 2 years may be in part related to the current recession but, as I shall explain later, is also linked to the increasing effectiveness of the consortium approach.
- the increasing self-sufficiency, whereby Victorian government funding has declined slightly in real terms and growth of programs has been funded entirely by external sources. These include a mix of competitive grant funds, contract research, and fees for scientific/educational services. VIMS' ability to achieve 80% self-sufficiency, a level which is virtually umnatched by other research agencies in Australia, while retaining its reputation for excellence and its focus on basic as well as applied research, also is linked to the effectiveness of the consortium approach.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences
Hammond, Laurie 1992 'A Consortium Approach to Marine Science', Education, Antarctica, Marine Science and Australia's Future: Proceedings of the Phillip Law 80th Birthday Symposium, 23 April 1992, Royal Society of Victoria, pp. 63-70.
© Copyright of Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and The Royal Society of Victoria 2001
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