R&D Excellence Award

The research and development excellence award recognises projects that challenge current practice and address the need for a sustainable future. The outcomes of the project must demonstrably add to the conservation or better use of water resources, knowledge of water technology, environment, sociology, economics or culture aspects. This award is open to research and development of all types, including early-stage, and is open to any Australian Corporate AWA Member.

Complete the Nomination Form

Judging criteria:

  • Research and development that has made a significant contribution to water, that improves the use or management of water or furthers knowledge of water in any discipline.
  • Demonstrated social, economic, environmental and/or cultural impact. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to communicating the outcomes of the project widely. 
  • Evidence of industry acceptance (uptake), recognition or other factors, which indicates the project’s research and development excellence.

When completing the
online nomination form you will be asked to answer the following:
  • Project Title
  • Project Lead Organisation (must be a Corporate AWA Member)
  • Project Collaborators (Organisations) 
  • Project Executive Summary (250 words)
  • What is the most significant contribution of your R&D project to achieving a prosperous and sustainable water future? (500 words)
  • Provide evidence of research excellence eg. competitive funding awarded, industry acceptance (uptake), honours and prizes (250 words)
  • Demonstrate the social, economic, environmental and/or cultural impacts of the project, how has the impact been achieved and by whom (500 words)
  • Provide evidence of the broader engagement of R&D outcomes eg. publications (media and journals), presentations or demonstrations (500 words)
  • Please upload:
    - Lead-organisation bio
    - Hi-resolution photos x 3
  • Please provide a short promotional blurb about the project, to be used should it be selected as a finalist, to promote the project and to be used at the awards presentation event. (50 words)

Note: Winners of the State Award who progress to the National Award will asked to prepare a three-minute video overview of their project for promotional purposes.

2021 National Winner – Australian R&D Excellence Award 



Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment – CSIRO and collaborators, supported by the Australian Government through the National Water Grid Authority
This project undertook the most extensive interdisciplinary study of the potential for agricultural development in northern Australia, providing a new standard in modelling of water and agriculture resources at scale, supported by intensive data analysis. The wealth of new publicly available information will help support industry, governments, and communities to make decisions about water and agricultural development in northern Australia.