At the workshop held at the Fraunhofer Officer in Brussels on 22 October 2019, the RI-PATHS team presented a condensed summary of project’s findings on how to account for socio-economic impacts of research infrastructures. It demonstrated to an audience of different policy makers from across the European Union and representatives of RI associations how the projects’ findings can be used for practical purposes. In the morning, the discussion focused on more general issues regarding the evolving political function of impact assessments of research infrastructures. In the afternoon, the workshop focused on existing insights from expert discussions regarding opportunities and challenges resulting from impact-related monitoring. Beyond a presentation of project results, the presentations featured insights and views of external speakers from the policy domain (DG Research and Innovation, DG Regio, UK Research and Innovation) as well as representatives of organisations shaping the discussion in the field (ESFRI, OECD). It provided an additional opportunity for learning and exchange among policy makers on the needs and challenges of impact assessments.
Ana Helman (ESF) participated in the meeting of the Evaluation and Impact Assessment Work Package (WP4) of the ERIC Forum Implementation project held on 2nd October 2019 in Berlin. The meeting brought together representatives from European Spallation Source ERIC, ECRIN-ERIC, Instruct-ERIC, BBMRI-ERIC, ICOS-ERIC, EMBRC ERIC as well as the RI-PATHS and RI-VIS projects and provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the interest, rationale, challenges and opportunities of socio-economic impact assessment activities. The common aim is to find ways to showcase the impact of research infrastructures and demonstrate their value for society to all stakeholders. While RI-PATHS is mostly focused on developing a general framework for socio-economic impact assessment, ERIC Forum and its members are looking to apply state of the art processes, tools and approaches to implement IA. Future collaboration is expected to bring mutual benefits as the RI-PATHS will be developing its online tool that will be submitted to the ERIC forum community for testing prior to its release to the public.