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Initiating Projects

Projects facilitated through WaterRA seek to provide water utilities with research that underpins currents needs in the industry.


Initiating projects can happen in several ways. The most important consideration when initiating a project is - how will this research affect business/industry productivity, service delivery and risk management?

This is how it works...



Ideas or proposals for new research can come from anywhere – Members, non-members, researchers, industry, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the potential benefit to the industry. WaterRA will conduct an initial assessment to determine this.

Submit Industry Need


Before we start a new project we need to be sure that the problem is clearly understood and the research is defined. One option is to hold a Community of Interest (CoI) workshop with stakeholders. CoIs can be held nationally, and occur throughout the year. Check this page regularly to see what is coming up.

View Active Communities of Interest


Once a project scope has been articulated, we will seek funding from Members and any other interested stakeholders. Having multiple partners involved shares the cost and increases the chances of uptake. See the current list of projects seeking funding.

View Current Requests for Funding


Once we have achieved full funding commitment for a project plan, we may issue an open call for proposals from the research community. For more information about how to do this follow the link.

View Current Requests for Proposals

Q. How can universities engage with industry?

A. Research institutions and industry organisations represent the largest proportion of WaterRA members. A benefit of being a research institution member with WaterRA means more opportunities to work with industry. Being involved in topical research that is useful to the water industry can provide both national and international research exposure.
For industry partners, the industry/research membership of WaterRA provides water utilities with access to quality researchers both nationally and internationally to collaborate in finding solutions to industry needs.

Q. What areas of research are included?

A. Generally, there is no restriction on research topics WaterRA will undertake. As indicated previously however, the issue should have clear water industry relevance and support, and align with company objectives.

Q. Who can put forward a research idea?

A. The 'Submit Industry Need' page is available to all research and industry members. If you have a research idea you would like to put forward for further investigation, please complete the form found on the Submit Industry Need page.

Q. What happens after I submit an idea/industry need?

A. WaterRA will assess your suggestion and determine industry interest. A good industry need will identify potential benefits to the water industry to enable good collaboration and wide industry applicability. If there is interest, WaterRA will establish a Community of Interest (CoI).

Q. What is a CoI?

A. The CoI is a group of industry and research experts who will define the need, evaluate the options, and identify a project scope that addresses the need in a CoI workshop. There is no charge for Members to attend CoI workshops.

Q. What sort of projects can be developed from a CoI workshop?

A. A CoI workshop can result in student projects, knowledge transfer activities, advocacy, policy updates as well as research projects. It is up to the workshop attendees to decide what the industry needs.

Q. What is WaterRA's approach to ARC Linkage?

A. The water industry has derived great benefit from ARC Linkage projects, and will continue to do so in the future. We offer researchers a facilitation service to promote any grants that require water industry cash and in-kind support. If you would like assistance in obtaining funding from water utilities for your ARC proposal, please provide us with a short summary of your research proposal and we will contact industry representatives that we know may be interested in the topic. The proposal should particularly outline how the work would benefit industry and what contribution is being sought from industry.

Alternatively, if you would like to co-develop an ARC linkage bid with WaterRA we encourage you to complete our Submit an Industry Need form to kick off discussions with WaterRA staff. This is designed to improve research project buy-in from utilities towards tailoring the proposal based on utility need.