Ideas and innovation: Research synthesis for industry

Why synthesise research in real contexts?

Research synthesis is key to successful research application and adoption.

A facilitated design process, the CRCWSC Research Synthesis Portfolio brings together the CRCWSC’s many research areas and disciplines with government and private industry partners to develop practical “ideas” for addressing specific industry-based challenges.

Research synthesis is a highly effective tool for exploring collaboration and innovation. The open-minded environment of a research synthesis design charrette (or facilitated group-think workshop) which is founded on science, and where no individual organisation leads or owns the conversation, supports an un-biased dialogue that enables the discovery of new and creative ideas.

What are the benefits for government and industry?

The activities of our Research Synthesis Portfolio provide ideas that are:

  • innovative, using the latest thinking from academic and industry thought leaders;
  • independent;
  • practical and context-specific, resulting in solutions that can be implemented;
  • backed by evidence that is integrated across a range of disciplines;
  • developed through a co-design process to ensure buy-in and active involvement by key stakeholders; and
  • foundational to building strategic stakeholder alliances and industry credibility around potential solutions.

Example of ‘ideas’ and application

Ideas generated by workshop participants are documented in a discussion paper for use by the project host, and for sharing with other interested parties. Ideas vary between research synthesis projects and their relevant context. The CRCWSC has conducted research synthesis projects in each Australian capital city, and in various regional cities and towns.

Our approach to research synthesis

Ideas developed through past projects have impacted:

  • urban design master plans;
  • green infrastructure designs;
  • alternative water source networks;
  • waterway designs;
  • building designs;
  • governance arrangements;
  • community engagement and water conservation campaign designs; and
  • business cases for water sensitive projects and programs.

Use the map below to view the discussion papers associated with research synthesis activities undertaken to date, or choose from the list below to explore different “ideas”:

What our partners think

Our Research Synthesis Portfolio was reviewed in 2015. Participants in this review told us that the value of these projects, and of the associate publication series, “Ideas for …”, lay in:

  • holding multi-stakeholder conversations in a safe and neutral environment;
  • involving senior staff and stakeholders, and strengthening relationships within and between different organisations;
  • generating new ideas, and applying and testing research in real-world situations;
  • the notion that organisations were not obliged to commit to the ideas discussed;
  • learning and capacity-building experiences offered to workshop participants; and
  • raising greater awareness of what a water sensitive city might look like, and how the CRCWSC research is contributing.

How to get involved

If you are a CRCWSC participant and have an idea for a research synthesis activity, contact your relevant Regional Executive Director.

If you are not a CRCWSC participant but interested in working with the CRCWSC on your own exciting project, contact and we will contact you to discuss your ideas.

Last updated: 4th Mar 2021