LERU suggests more sophisticated approach to impact
On 27 April 2018, LERU published seventeen concrete suggestions on how to develop a more sophisticated approach to impact and stimulate the impact of the projects it funds in the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9). According to Professor Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of LERU, a draft version of the note was already discussed with the European Commission in January. “Many impact related issues will only be dealt with in preparation for the implementation of FP9, but for the FP9 regulation that will be published early June, the indicators proposed still need to be a crucial point of attention. The Commission should design a system of indicators which would enable accountability and monitor progress whilst at the same time enhancing the environment for creativity and serendipity”, Deketelaere states.
Some of LERU’s key recommendations are as follows:
- develop a clear set of definitions of concepts related to impact, and their interactions – in a debate with stakeholders and with the help of an expert working group;
- develop new mechanisms to increase the impact of FP9, for example by orchestrating “project clustering”, by creating “synthesis projects” and by providing impact-oriented “follow-up” funding;
- change their approach to the expected impact statement by focusing on potential outcomes and pathways to impact, instead of asking beneficiaries to pin down impact as such;
- refrain from using a linear model of impact (such as the currently used TRLs) and refrain from over-engineering impact, while finding ways to appropriately balance impact assessment by quantitative measurements (using indicators), with qualitative assessment, even at project level;