Research infrastructures are a cornerstone of European research and innovation and play a pivotal role in sustaining the world-class excellence of European research. They are at the core of knowledge creation by assembling a critical mass of people, data and financial resources and facilitating international cooperation in science.
In this context RI-PATHS (Research Infrastructure imPact Assessment paTHwayS) released an expert publication in the April 2018. The report contains a critical literature review of the most common methodologies currently employed for the socioeconomic impact assessment (IA) of research infrastructures (RIs). The review is intended to pave the way for the development of a conceptual framework IA model. There are a wide array of existing approaches and methods to assess the socio-economic impact of RI. While the majority of the reviewed approaches cover the main expected socioeconomic impacts of RIs, such as the production of knowledge, human capital accumulation, increased innovation, productivity or effects on GDP, they differ in the way such impacts are measured, treated, and aggregated. Moreover, some of the reviewed methods are complementary, some are substitutes; some have broad applicability, while others are quite narrow in their scope and potential informative power. The review makes a systematic assessment based on six assessment criteria: reliability, validity, accuracy, cost/time needed, relevance for policy makers, relevance for RI managers. The review highlights that there is not a single methodological approach that can appropriately answer all the questions that a socio-economic IA addresses. Rather, a smart and rigorous combination of approaches can add value compared to existing methods.
The literature review is available for download...
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