Research with an impact

Evaluation practises in public research organisations

Kaisa Lähteenmäki-Smith, Kirsi Hyytinen, Pirjo Kutinlahti, Jari Konttinen

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This publication highlights the benefits of and the challenges faced in assessing the societal impacts of public research organisations, based on a research project (JYVA) focusing on the perceptions, practises and philosophies associated with the assessment of the socio-economic impacts of research and development. The JYVA-project was undertaken in a consortium between five Finnish public research organisations (PROs) involved in R&D activity: Agrifood Research Finland (MTT), Finnish Defence Forces Technical Research Centre (PVTT), Helia University of Business and Applied Sciences (HELIA), Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The main aims of the project were to develop the necessary methods and indicators needed to analyse the impacts in each organisation, and to test an analytical framework for impact assessment developed within VTT. The main findings and policy implications are discussed here on the basis of three related perspectives: • objectives (as they relate to organisational perspectives) • indicators (as they relate to the innovation process more generally) • learning (both in terms of actors and policy). The positive impacts that public research organizations generate originate in networks and with partners. Future competence development therefore requires an approach where organisational and cognitive needs relating to impact assessment are related specifically to the creation of new partnerships and network management, as well as to the role and "value added" of the organisation in these networks. On the level of policies, the role of the R&D organizations is essential in providing a cognitive base for developing cross-sectoral and more broadly based policy initiatives. In this regard management by results and management by programming are mutually supporting processes, where PROs should play an active role. Impact assessment helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of organisational performance, as well as enabling us to focus on the key competences of the R&D organisations. By so doing it helps us to analyse the "additionality" of public R&D, from the point of view of current and potential customers, stakeholders and society at large. It is important to balance these external customer needs with the internal expertise development needs of the PROs however, and to do this in such a way that it does not jeopardise the creativity of individuals and institutional capabilities in expert organisations, as these are the core producers of continuous knowledge creation, acquisition, and transfer, ultimately ensuring continuing innovation into the future.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages77
ISBN (Print)9513867846, 9789513867843
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

NameVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes
No.2336
ISSN (Print)1235-0605
ISSN (Electronic)1455-0865

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Innovation
Knowledge acquisition
Network management
Economics
Industry

Keywords

  • Evaluation
  • Impact assessment
  • Polytechnics
  • Public research organisations (PROs)
  • R&D
  • Societal impacts

Cite this

Lähteenmäki-Smith, K., Hyytinen, K., Kutinlahti, P., & Konttinen, J. (2006). Research with an impact: Evaluation practises in public research organisations. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes, No. 2336
Lähteenmäki-Smith, Kaisa ; Hyytinen, Kirsi ; Kutinlahti, Pirjo ; Konttinen, Jari. / Research with an impact : Evaluation practises in public research organisations. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2006. 77 p. (VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes; No. 2336).
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Lähteenmäki-Smith, K, Hyytinen, K, Kutinlahti, P & Konttinen, J 2006, Research with an impact: Evaluation practises in public research organisations. VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes, no. 2336, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Research with an impact : Evaluation practises in public research organisations. / Lähteenmäki-Smith, Kaisa; Hyytinen, Kirsi; Kutinlahti, Pirjo; Konttinen, Jari.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2006. 77 p. (VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes; No. 2336).

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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AB - This publication highlights the benefits of and the challenges faced in assessing the societal impacts of public research organisations, based on a research project (JYVA) focusing on the perceptions, practises and philosophies associated with the assessment of the socio-economic impacts of research and development. The JYVA-project was undertaken in a consortium between five Finnish public research organisations (PROs) involved in R&D activity: Agrifood Research Finland (MTT), Finnish Defence Forces Technical Research Centre (PVTT), Helia University of Business and Applied Sciences (HELIA), Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). The main aims of the project were to develop the necessary methods and indicators needed to analyse the impacts in each organisation, and to test an analytical framework for impact assessment developed within VTT. The main findings and policy implications are discussed here on the basis of three related perspectives: • objectives (as they relate to organisational perspectives) • indicators (as they relate to the innovation process more generally) • learning (both in terms of actors and policy). The positive impacts that public research organizations generate originate in networks and with partners. Future competence development therefore requires an approach where organisational and cognitive needs relating to impact assessment are related specifically to the creation of new partnerships and network management, as well as to the role and "value added" of the organisation in these networks. On the level of policies, the role of the R&D organizations is essential in providing a cognitive base for developing cross-sectoral and more broadly based policy initiatives. In this regard management by results and management by programming are mutually supporting processes, where PROs should play an active role. Impact assessment helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of organisational performance, as well as enabling us to focus on the key competences of the R&D organisations. By so doing it helps us to analyse the "additionality" of public R&D, from the point of view of current and potential customers, stakeholders and society at large. It is important to balance these external customer needs with the internal expertise development needs of the PROs however, and to do this in such a way that it does not jeopardise the creativity of individuals and institutional capabilities in expert organisations, as these are the core producers of continuous knowledge creation, acquisition, and transfer, ultimately ensuring continuing innovation into the future.

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KW - Impact assessment

KW - Polytechnics

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KW - R&D

KW - Societal impacts

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Lähteenmäki-Smith K, Hyytinen K, Kutinlahti P, Konttinen J. Research with an impact: Evaluation practises in public research organisations. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2006. 77 p. (VTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes; No. 2336).