Research and development only deliver benefits for industry when results are shared and used. Adoption of research results by end users is determined by factors including:
- degree of end-user participation in delivery,
- complexity of research outputs,
- financial cost of adoption,
- time period to recover expenditure following adoption,
- end-user beliefs and opinions,
- level of end-user motivation,
- perceptions of relevance of research outputs,
- end-user attitudes towards risk and change,
- the ease or difficulty with which outcomes of adoption may be observed.
A review in 2019 reported variable results from FRDC’s past extension (or adoption) efforts. It found that these could be more structured, but that a ‘one size fits all’ approach would be difficult to apply across all fisheries. Feedback from stakeholders noted that:
- the FRDC may be well-placed to coordinate extension activities, even if they are delivered by someone else,
- the most efficient extension methods are not always the most effective because end users are more likely to take up the results of research when they are explained or shown by a trusted colleague,
- successful extension of research requires awareness of local context, effective networks and understanding who the ‘adopter’ is, what they need, what will encourage them and any constraints they are facing along the way.
Over the life of this R&D Plan the FRDC will:
- take a new approach to adoption by moving beyond transferring knowledge to helping end users make changes in their businesses,
- support end users in forming ‘communities of practice’ — informal groups that work together to use their local knowledge and experience to refine and improve adoption.
This enabling strategy will help to make progress against all R&D Plan outcomes.
THE FUTURE: Bringing together performance measurement
Adoption of research happens when people understand how to use the results and the benefits of doing so, believe they are capable of doing what is needed, and feel everyone else is doing it too. Adoption of R&D can be increased by understanding human behaviour and how to influence it, communicating effectively, and supporting people and communities to undertake necessary changes. Adoption and change can also be supported in informal ways, such as creating spaces for people to chat about new information and responses and encouraging them to ask questions.