It's hard to put a price on research and innovation.
A new report shows that the University of Wollongong has received $431 million in research grants and commercialisation income in the past decade.
The UOW: Leading Locally, Competing Globally study also reveals that there have been 60 successful patents granted, 275 invention disclosures and 50 commercial licence agreements.
But report authors Brad Braithwaite and Charles Harvie said it was hard to put a monetary value on some of the intangible benefits of research and innovation.
For instance, UOW research and expertise is used by companies, government agencies and other organisations to improve or develop products and processes - but how does one measure that?
"We can measure the direct revenue from research and its impact on the economy and have done that in our modelling in this report," Mr Braithwaite said.
"However, there's all sorts of less tangible benefits from research and innovation, such as the increased productivity from technological innovation; improvements in processes that are research-led and increased knowledge in the workforce that are not as easily measured."
Mr Braithwaite said UOW would be the first university in Australia to look at the more intangible benefits of research and innovation, like productivity.
"The spillover effects of doing cutting-edge research in a university environment are that industry gets hold of that and starts developing new business and becomes more profitable because of those innovations," he said.
"Research on the value of those spillover effects is taking place in the United States and Canada but not in Australia.
"That's our task in the next 12 months - to use this region as an example within the Australian context so we can start to see just what the value of these spillover effects are here."