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Cost benefit analysis of CRDC-funded research

November, 2007

CRDC engaged BDA Group to undertake a triple bottom line evaluation of two completed projects that were known to have had a significant industry impact. While this evaluation forms part of a broader examination of investment projects funded by Australian Rural Research and Development Corporations, it also provides an indication of the nature and extent of gains that the CRDC has been able to achieve on the funds that they manage. Although the CRDC’s primary investment focus is to enhance the international competitiveness of the Australian cotton industry, they have been able to deliver significant environmental and broader social gains to the Australian community.

This report presents the triple bottom line evaluation of CRDC’s investment in managing pest resistance in transgenic cotton and the development and commercialisation of the Irrimate technology. The report found that when compared to the total investment portfolio, the two hero projects examined in this study provide an indication of the minimum average return on funds invested across all projects and activities supported by the CRDC. It was estimated that the pay off from CRDC investment over four years of operation was considerable, both on levy payer funds and matching funds provided by the Federal government:

  • Levy Payers – an estimated return of $13 for every dollar invested.
  • Industry as a whole – an estimated return of $12 for every dollar invested.
  • Australia – an estimated return of $30 for every dollar of matching funds provided.