On 7 December 2015 the Australian Government launched its National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). One of the measures within the agenda is for Australia to introduce a national impact and engagement assessment, which will examine how universities are translating their research into economic, social and other benefits and encourage greater collaboration between universities, industries and other end-users of research.

Working closely with university and industry stakeholders and through a Steering Committee and working groups, the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Department of Education and Training have been developing the framework for the assessment.

In line with the NISA announcement in December 2015, a pilot was undertaken in 2017. The ARC reviewed the pilot, including analysing the engagement and impact assessment methodologies and incorporating feedback from university, industry and end-user participants. This review informed the development of the full assessment.

The national Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI) in 2018 will be undertaken as a companion to Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).