Societal Impact of Research Infrastructures in Context

Leonie van Drooge, Isabelle van Elzakker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific

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This paper is dedicated to societal impact of research infrastructures (RIs). In particular those that operate in a complex context that include multiple members/funders, members/partners and other stakeholders; academic as well as non-academic and at regional, national and supranational level, such as the European Research Infrastructure Consortiums (ERICs) Every RI, and every ERIC in particular, operates in its own unique network. In Europe, supranational policy organisations call for harmonized operation and unified governance approaches of RIs and ERICs. This includes societal impact and its assessment. Existing practices regarding societal impact assessment of research organisations do not fit the perceptions and expectations of RIs, ERICs and their stakeholders. Even commonly used methods to assess the societal impact of a specific RI, does not cater to the needs of the RIs and ERICs to develop and apply a common or joint approach. This paper is dedicated to the development of such a joint approach for the organisation and assessment of RIs, in the field of materials research. Based on an analysis of the specific characteristics of RIs and ERICs, and based on current trends in societal impact assessment, we have developed a common approach for use by a variety of different RIs and ERICs. The approach is currently tested by 5 RIs and ERICs. The test-phase will result into 5 societal impact reports in June 2019
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • research infrastructure
  • societal impact
  • Evaluation
  • governance
  • boundary object


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