Research Impact should not concentrate only on scientific outputs. All SFI funded projects now apply equal focus on the broader impact on society and economy.
SFI (Ireland's National funding agency for Science & Engineering) developed the Impact Framework to apply to all applications under 3 thematic areas:
1. creating new products, processes policies & behaviour
2. improving efficiency & efficacy of existing practice and
3. research to improve resilience & sustainability
They asses the impacts of these applications under 8 pillars:
3. International engagement
4. Policy & public service
5. Health & wellbeing
7. Professional Services
8. Human Capacity
Impact Statements form part of the proposal and are assessed during:
• Ex-Anti at the selection of Programme Themes
• pre-Award stage
• Selection stage
• Monitoring & Management of impact arising during the terms of an award
As part of the Impact Statement, SFI awardees are asked to set targets against many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The KPIs and targets are viewed to directly support delivery of impacts across many areas and are reviewed periodically by SFI. The impact declarations assist SFI to quantify the types of impacts coming from various SFI Programmes.
These wider Impacts are mapped in a matrix and then reviewed by a Science Review Panel and an Impact Review Panel prior to final selection of projects. KPI's and targets on these wider impacts are monitored throughout the term of the project.
Time & human resources required to evaluate impact at evaluation of award stage and during annual reporting.
Evidence of success
As this framework involves a long period (which could be in the region of 10 years or more) and has been relatively a recent introduction (since around 2012) the complete evidence of success may not be available at this time.
Difficult to measure impact
Long timescales and moving targets of some research projects
Potential for learning or transfer
The IMPACT concept fits with the objectives of RRI and the MARIE project. It can be customised or altered, as required to suit partners regions. The framework is based on discussions within the Small Advanced Economies Initiative
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