Media Release – Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project Value in Operations


Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project to drive innovation and value in operational infrastructure (ARC Value in Operations)

 The Australian Research Council (ARC) announced May 6, 2016 that Queensland University of Technology (QUT’s) bid for an ARC Linkage project is one of a number of successful bids that the ARC considers will drive “innovation for Australia’s future” by addressing real world problems including “problems in infrastructure”. QUT’s Associate Professor Adrian Bridge leads this $2.3million (total cash and in-kind contributions) landmark research project comprising a multidisciplinary research team of 9 academics from QUT; The University of Melbourne; and The University of New South Wales, and in collaboration with 17 partner organisations as follows: Infrastructure Australia; NSW Treasury; Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria; WA Department of Finance; 6 State education departments (ACT; NSW; QLD SA; VIC; and WA); Bickerton Masters Architecture; Christie Creative Solutions; Capella Capital; GRC Quantity Surveyors; Lendlease Building; Lidunian Partners; and Spotless Facility Services.

The following is extract from the project summary: “The project aims to develop a whole-of-life procurement decision-making framework so schools can make delivering better education more cost effective. This framework – which draws on state-of-the-art and Nobel prize-winning theories and new theory – will be used in government and private schools. The effectiveness of this framework in improving schools will be shown using a new approach. This research is expected to deliver more efficient ways to future-proof schools to create a well performing school system and more resilient infrastructure vital to Australia’s future prosperity.”

The new approach developed to validate the whole-of-life procurement decision-making framework incorporates a world-first and comprehensive Value-for-Money metric (or Value Rating): That is, performance per $ total cumulative cost-to-date/m2. For the first time – and in a meaningful and holistic way, this approach captures performance that isolates (from teachers and other key factors) the effects of the school facilities on education outcomes. In doing so, it includes the effects of well-functioning and well-maintained school facilities on attracting and retaining school personnel and students.

Beyond delivering more rigorous, evidenced-based and transparent procurement decision-making that drives the performance of school facilities and their whole-life cost, the project will show for the first time, the upper limit of cost for school facilities in terms of delivering more than a proportional return in performance for each dollar spent and the lower limit of cost in terms of delivering an acceptable performance at least cost. These outcomes will be implementable immediately in government financed schools, and can be considered as part of future variations in current PPP schools, as well as used in future PPP schools including in the design of output specifications. More fundamentally, this project will set-out a new standard for conducting reviews post-completion/in operations that fully capture Value-for-Money and which can be adapted to all social and economic infrastructure sectors.

This new ARC project is a development of the outcomes in the previous ARC project also led by Adrian Bridge (at: and which was cited by the Productivity Commission.

Further details on the new ARC research project are available from the ARC at:


For further information, please contact:

Dr Adrian Bridge
Associate Professor Project Management
Civil Engineering and Built Environment
Science and Engineering Faculty
Queensland University of Technology