The Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology (BEST) is a national and international leader in applied behavioural insights and research. The Centre draws on QUT’s expertise in Behavioural Insights, as applied in economics and social marketing, while leveraging and amplifying QUT’s expertise in health, science, technology and creative industries. The BEST Centre brings together researchers interested in applying Behavioural Insights to address real world problems in close collaboration with government, industry and the not-for-profit sector.
Challenges facing society are increasing in complexity, with expertise from diverse fields required to develop robust solutions. BEST brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers spanning the QUT Business School, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Creative Industries Faculty and Science and Engineering Faculty. Working together this team of experts is applying behavioural insight informed strategies and behavioural change interventions to tackle wicked problems and stubborn challenges in society, and support the adoption of new technologies and innovation. The six research programs of the Centre reflect its disciplinary expertise. A strength of BEST is our agility in being able to quickly assemble this expertise to respond to real-world problems. In our first year, 8 new projects were commenced with partners from industry, government and non-for-profit sector. The Centre also attracted research income of $715,459 for projects bridging research programs.
The BEST Centre has also been awarded funding from the ARC for an ARC Training Centre for Behavioural Insights for Technology Adoption (BITA). BITA will be the first ARC Industry Transformation Training Centre led out of a Business discipline and equal first from humanities and social sciences (HASS) since the establishment of the program in 2013 and is only the fourth program of its kind led by QUT. This was one of the major milestones for the BEST Centre – preparing the application over 18 months – navigating the particularly challenging environment caused by the pandemic. The total Centre value is $6.5m consisting of both substantial funding from the ARC, almost $2m of cash contributions and another $2.1m in-kind from 19 partner organisations. Our partners in include government and industry partners, with about 1/3 of the partners being start-ups. Three Australian universities (QUT, UQ and UWA) will form the consortium for this Centre.