Some years ago the Australian Commonwealth Government ceased funding the University of Sydney led Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Rice Production. As the CRC was being closed the research reports (published and distributed in print) were to be tossed or pulped. On the initiative of one of the librarians at the University of Sydney all the research reports were scanned and loaded for open access on the University's Sydney eScholarship repository - http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/1161
Within months these reports were being downloaded from Vietnam, Bangladesh and other counties where rice production was a critical as a sustainable crop.
For a relatively small effort applied research was made freely available for those who could most use it.