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The 2019 BHERT Awards

About the BHERT Awards

In 1998 BHERT initiated a series of Awards to reinforce the importance of business-university partnerships in innovation, R&D and teaching. These are prestigious annual awards which recognise outstanding achievement in collaboration between the sectors of business and higher education.

Award Applications are assessed by a panel of independent judges against a number of criteria. The submissions must be highly innovative and reflect a strong relationship between partners. The winning Projects are also those deemed to have measurable outcomes, and high impact for Australia.

Now in their 22nd year, the BHERT Awards are presented at a dedicated Awards Ceremony. The Awards are sponsored by university and business members of BHERT.

go to application forms below

Award Categories

Outstanding Collaboration in Research and Development

This award recognises excellence in basic and applied research activity undertaken jointly by researchers in tertiary education institutes and partners in business and industry. This award focuses on fundamental research (sometimes called discovery, basic or sky-blue research) that will result in the development of new ideas, the creation of jobs and an enhanced quality of life in Australia.

Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training

This award recognises outstanding contributions to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching in higher education by members of tertiary education institutions and industry partners. For the purposes of this awards program, industry is broadly defined as publicly and privately-owned companies, federal, state and government departments, statutory authorities, industry associations, unions, not-for-profits and recognised community organisations.

Outstanding Collaboration in Community Engagement

This award recognises outstanding collaborations between communities, higher education and industry for societal benefit. Of particular interest, partnerships that engage rural, regional, urban, disadvantaged or marginalised groups within Australia are encouraged to apply.

Outstanding Collaboration for National (non-economic) Benefit

This award recognises outstanding collaborative efforts for the benefit of the nation. Benefits should include social, environmental and cultural outcomes. The primary purpose of the project is not to generate economic wealth for a company, university or other group.

BHERT Streamlines Award Application Process:
Easier for Applicants and Assessors

After discussion with a number of participants, and analysis of similar awards processes, BHERT have modified the application process for the BHERT Awards. The improvements respond to the high demand for these Awards, the importance to participating companies and universities, and the significant work required on an Application.

BHERT’s aim is to reduce the workload for all parts of the system, without impairing the quality of its outcomes.

BHERT now runs a two-stage application process, with the first stage requiring only a one-page “Expression of Interest” to be submitted.

Expressions of Interest to apply for Awards will be accepted from Thursday 7th March to Tuesday 16th April via the BHERT website. BHERT will then select the top applicants in each Award category, who will be invited to complete a full Application through our Online Portal from Monday 13th May to Tuesday 9th July. These full applications will be judged by our expert panel, and winners will be announced at our BHERT Awards Ceremony.

This new streamlined process significantly reduces the initial workload required for Applicants, as the one-page Expression of Interest requires only limited information, and no letters of support from other parties. Completing an Expression of Interest should take no more than a few hours. BHERT hopes the shorter Expression of Interest will encourage the submission of more and more diverse collaborative projects for consideration.

Please note there is no restriction on the number of Expressions of Interest that can be submitted per institution. 

The streamlined process means that only those who make the shortlist will need to complete a full Application This new two-stage process also reduces the number of Applications given to the judging panel for assessment. This reduces their workload and allows them to focus their efforts on evaluating the most competitive entries.

Ultimately, this streamlined process will allow BHERT to better showcase Australia’s best collaborative projects.

2019 BHERT Awards Expression of Interest Application Form

Please download both of these documents:

2019 BHERT Awards Expression of Interest Instructions and Application Form Sample (PDF)

2019 BHERT Awards Expression of Interest Application Form (Word docx)

Only the application form needs to be submitted and in word format. Applications are only accepted through the:


EOIs closed Tuesday April 16, Close of Business (5pm) 


Awards Frequently Asked Questions

Are international partners acceptable?

Yes, as long as there is a major Australian partner, and the project benefits Australians.

Does a government body or publicly owned entity qualify as an industry partner?

A publicly owned entity can be a partner to a BHERT Award, but there should be at least one non-government non-university partner. Entities liker Police forces, Hospitals, statutory authorities may be partners under appropriate circumstances. Consideration will be given on request – please contact BHERT to discuss.

Are CRCs eligible to apply?

Yes, particularly where their industry partners are directly involved.

Can universities put in a number of applications, or are they restricted to submitting just one per institution?

It is expected that each University will submit multiple Applications, from different fields of activity. There are no restrictions. Universities and organisations can submit as many applications as they wish.

What is the process for the Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Leadership? Is it part of the EOI or should submissions be made in the application round?

The Award for Leadership can follow two paths; via the EoI process, or by direct communication with the CEO of BHERT ( Once submitted, it will be assessed by the BHERT Board.

How strict is the word count?

The word counts for our Expressions of Interest applications are a guideline and are not rigidly enforced. You will certainly not be penalised for writing a few sentences too many. We have kept the word counts low to make the process easier for applicants. Feel free to submit as long as the text doesn’t exceed the word count by 10%. (But keep in mind; brevity and clarity are highly valued!)

How recent must a project be to qualify for a BHERT Award?

The judges look favourably on long-term projects that have solid outcomes. Projects launched in 2018 or 2019 will have a harder task to convince assessors that significant impact has been achieved, or that the impact is sustainable. Sometimes a project will be resubmitted in subsequent years when the project has progressed further, and can make a stronger case for the Award.

The application questions focus on the nature of the collaboration, and the impact of the collaboration, so a recently formed partnership is eligible to win, provided significant evidence of impact is provided.

Can unsuccessful projects re-submit in subsequent years?

Yes, of course. It is only winning projects who are ineligible to re-submit in subsequent years.

Driving collaboration across business, industry and tertiary education.

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