Project number: 2023-160
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $452,225.00
Principal Investigator: Susan Madden
Organisation: GHD Pty Ltd Sydney
Project start/end date: 14 Apr 2024 - 2 Jul 2026


It is becoming increasingly important for Rural RDCs to continually monitor and evaluate the returns from RD&E investment, as government and industry require greater transparency and accountability of RD&E funds.

In addition to FRDC’s Statutory Funding Agreement requirements for valuing return on investment and use in its Annual Reports, impact assessments of FRDC’s RD&E investments are needed to inform:
– Future investment decisions
– CRRDC’s overall performance review of impact generated by RDCs
– Levy payers and government of the performance of investments.

GHD understands that the project will comprise two key components:
– An economic impact assessment of up to 20 research projects for the three-year period FY23/24, 24/25, and 25/26
– An individual and aggregated report of all assessed projects at the completion of assessments.

GHD notes that within this period the first five assessments for FY23/24 are required by June 2024 with the remainder of the projects, i.e. 10, due in September 2024. These assessments are required to be consistent with the CRRDC Guidelines for Impact Assessments. FRDC RD&E projects are to be assessed annually to meet Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA) requirements for valuing return on investment for use in FRDC’s Annual Reports and performance of FRDC’s investments.
In conducting the impact assessment project it will be important to note that one of FRDC’s key responsibilities is to ensure that research to assist management of fisheries and aquaculture resources is being undertaken to maintain ongoing sustainability. While the primary focus of these benefit-cost analyses over time has been economic impact, with references to environmental and social implications where appropriate, FRDC is increasingly interested in understanding the impact of R&D investments on environmental, social, and economic aspects more holistically.


1. To inform FRDC's delivery of R&D Plans and future investment decisions
2. To provide information on the return of FRDC’s RD&E investment that can be used in FRDC’s annual reporting to the Australian Commonwealth
3. To contribute to populating the Evaluation Framework for FRDC reporting to DAFF under the current SFA agreement
4. To provide FRDC input to the overall performance assessment of the RDCs being compiled by CRRDC

Related research


Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics 2022

1. To maintain and improve the data base of production, gross value of production and trade statistics for the Australian fishing industry, including aquaculture.
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) ABARES