CoP Webinar 9 September 2022

Socio-economic impact OF RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES: Things to consider

Author: Evi-Carita Riikonen, ICOS ERIC

Assessing the socio-economic impact (SEI) of European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs) is being increasingly discussed as more ERICs are being established and the existing ones are developing. It is especially interesting for the funders and other stakeholders, but also for the general public who benefit from the work ERICs and other types of RIs do. However, assessing the SEI of ERICs is not so straightforward. A RItrainPlus Community of Practice webinar was delivered on 9th September 2022 to cover some key ideas about assessing the SEI of RIs. It derived from key findings from a survey where where ERICs and those in the preparatory phase were asked about the status of their SEI assessment processes, but the results are applicable to the wider RI landscape as well.

The webinar covered two overarching topics:

  •         Things to consider before assessing socio-economic impact
  •         Building up an impact landscape

The webinar listed five main things to consider before assessing SEI:

  1.   The importance of defining what ‘impact’ means in the context of a specific RI
  2.   Clarifying expectations – what, and by whom, is expected from the RI and from the SEI assessment
  3.   Defining scope: is the RI assessed as a whole or would it be feasible to assess several smaller entities and then assess the whole RI
  4.   Considering the phase of the RI where its SEI is assessed
  5.   The importance of distinguishing between Key Performance Indicators and Key Impact Indicators

The webinar also discussed an example of building up an ‘impact landscape’ where the accumulating impact can be identified as being generated throughout the different phases of an RI’s landscape. It highlighted the importance of a narrative that supports the use or numerical indicators. Furthermore, it is important to engage the whole RI community to demonstrate how their combined effort produces impact.  

If you would like to access the webinar recordings and materials, you can sign up to the RITrainPlus CoP. The RItrainPlus CoP is a forum for discussion about relevant issues and opportunities for knowledge and best practices sharing through a peer learning approach that would support research infrastructures (RIs) and core facilities (CFs) in their specific managerial and operational challenges. We offer new webinars every 2 months so do not miss out and sign up now!

Socio-economic impact OF RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES: Things to consider