The REACH group conducts world-class multidisciplinary research into a range of theoretical and applied issues in the economics of the arts and culture including: the structure and operations of the creative economy; the cultural industries; culture in sustainable development; the economic circumstances of professional artists; demand for cultural goods and services; evaluation of cultural heritage; copyright issues and digital rights management; audience development; the impact of digital distribution platforms; and managing and marketing cultural projects. Where appropriate, REACH researchers collaborate with colleagues in universities, international organisations, federal and state government agencies, NGOs, and business corporations in the arts and culture, both in Australia and overseas. Recent research collaborators and partner organisations include: UNESCO: the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (UK); the World Bank; Australian National University; the Australia Council for the Arts; and the Australian Government's Department of the Environment.
The network is headed by Prof David Throsby, who has an international profile in cultural economics research, including particularly cross-disciplinary research in partnership with leading international cultural organisations. Researchers in the REACH network bring a range of skills and backgrounds to projects, with disciplinary expertise in a number of areas including cultural economics, consumer behaviour, heritage, brand management, innovation, marketing, management, and media studies. REACH members have worked in government policy, arts administration, the corporate sector and for not-for-profit organisations.
Research carried out by REACH members contributes to Macquarie University's Strategic Research Framework in the following priority areas
- Resilient Societies: Understanding cultures in our changing world and building ethical, just and inclusive communities;
- Prosperous Economies: Strengthening economic productivity to promote prosperity in our diverse world.
The work of the network is also relevant to the Innovative Technologies priority area, especially through engagement with big-data issues, technological change and the digital economy, and creativity as an engine of innovation.
The network's activities fit with a number of the Australian Government's current research priorities, including the following:
- Lifting productivity and economic growth: especially through the theme 'delivering skills for the new economy';
- Securing Australia's place in a changing world: especially through the theme 'understanding political, cultural, economic and technological change, particularly in our region'; and
- Promoting population health and wellbeing: especially through the theme 'maximising social and economic participation in society'.