The Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER) is a collaboration between the Grampians Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committee, the Wimmera Development Association (WDA), local governments in the Grampians region and Federation University Australia (FedUni) to develop a significant research site located in Horsham.
RISER undertakes social and economic development research in fields that impact on communities in rural and regional Victoria. The work undertaken is applied in nature and will be utilised directly by governments, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector to improve opportunities for communities and support sustainable growth and development. RISER works with communities to develop funding applications to Commonwealth and State Government and the philanthropic sector to maximise the direct benefit of this research.
Current RISER projects undertaken by PhD students holding industry scholarships include understanding political representation of rural communities in the context of regional population dispersal, developing models of leadership and governance for regional communities, local branding and commodity ‘ownership’ by primary producers and indigenous social enterprise. Other RISER research consultancy projects include, local economic development projects, engagement of CALD communities with early childhood education and developing demographic models of a Victorian region.
The work of the RISER is embedded in rural Victoria, working with communities, local government and development organisations in new and collaborative ways. The research is focused on outcomes at a local level and its projects are determined by a joint academic / industry steering committee.
At a community and organisational level RISER is building a research base to promote government and business investment in the rural towns and communities of the Wimmera / Southern Mallee. RISER researchers work with the project partners to develop evidence based funding applications to ensure access to increased levels of development and project funding.
RISER and project partners have a strong focus on attracting additional resources to the Wimmera / Southern Mallee regions.