The ARC Linkage Program is the flagship program of the Commonwealth Government to encourage collaboration and co-investment by Australian organisations with the university sector.

In Fusion Consulting undertook an analysis of who had invested in ARC Linkage from 2002 to 2015. The report can be found here.

  • Private companies were the most common partners, but other sectors accounted for 50% of the investors.
  • Private companies are the most common partner in engineering, information systems, biomedical sciences, construction and agriculture.
  • The state government is the most common partner in environmental management, health, education and forestry.
  • NGOs dominate in social support sciences, law, policy and history.
  • Most organisations (73%) only invested once.
  • The top “multiple-investors” were state government agencies followed by large multi-national companies.
  • The mix of investors across industry, government and NGOs varied significantly between universities and was reflective of the structure of their regional economies.


We pose three questions arising from this analysis:

  1. If most organisations are investing only once over a relatively long time period, what was it about the experience that discourages them from investing a second time?
  2. What are the reasons for the relative lack of large Australian companies investing multiple times through the program?
  3. Is the ARC Linkage Program agile enough to be attractive to fast-moving, innovative start-up companies?


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