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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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




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The Origins of VIMS and Its Consortium Approach (continued)

VIMS began operations in 1978, and kicked off immediately with the Bass Strait Study. It was the exemplar in its time of the strength of a consortium approach. A modest amount of seed money ($300,000 spread over 1979 and 1980, for over 30 projects involving individuals from at least 14 institutions) led to the first comprehensive, integrated understanding of that complex body of water called Bass Strait. In 1985 I calculated there had been a multiplier effect of at least 500% over 5 years on the original sum invested, through flow of other funds to the individuals involved and their successive projects (Hammond, 1985).

This was particularly important, as it laid the foundation for a network of practical individual collaboration, as opposed to in-principle institutional co-operation. Both of these underpin VIMS' present consortium approach.

Before going on to analyse that approach, let me briefly survey the VIMS of today. The momentum provided by the Bass Strait Study was lost in financial difficulties associated, at least partly, with constrained Victorian government funding during the 1982-83 recession. But after 1984, VIMS grew strongly, both in size and in the reputation of its programs.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences

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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.

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