Promoting the socio- economic impact of research – the role of funding practices (PROSECON)
Description: The main objective of the project is to explore how and to what extent research funding mechanisms focusing on socioeconomic impact affect the nature and results of public research activities. Socioeconomic impact is not only understood as tangible end-products of research activities but also in the form of the interactions in the research processes that contribute to creating value for both research communities and stakeholders in pursuing societal results. The project examines how financing systems are designed to create socioeconomic impact. The focus is on financing systems as a whole, special strategic funding bodies and, not least, specific funding instruments. Hereafter, it is examined how such funding mechanisms in practice affect the research and knowledge dissemination activities in selected research groups. Our case studies focus on three countries, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. Within these, 18 research groups are investigated within two research areas: energy and food. There is growing attention to the question of how strategic research funding instruments can be designed to ensure socioeconomic impact. In practice, however, we know very little about the ways and conditions under which specific instruments affect the creation of the desired type of impact. Given the significant resources allocated for research funding, improving the understanding of the real impact of funding mechanisms on research activities could therefore significantly affect the return on both public and private investment.
The PROSECON project will be carried out by a highly interdisciplinary team consisting of members from The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy (CFA) at Aarhus University, members from the Interdisciplinary Center for Science and Technology Studies (IZWT) at Wuppertal University and members from INGENIO [CSIC-UPV] at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. As a whole the team has recognized accomplishments and extensive expertise within the subject and methodology of the project and covers a range of relevant disciplines. The project will be led by Carter Bloch and Kaare Aagaard. Below a brief description of each member.