The Impact Workshop- Success Story on Collaboration of Research Funding and Innovation Advisors
We began the development of The Impact workshop 2013. Since that the framework programmes have changed and the impact workshop has evolved. The starting point was that funding organisations at local, national and European levels expect research projects to have an impact that is not just innovation development, but a wider concept where the results of projects are exploited by society at large. To meet this need an “Impact Clinic” was developed as a collaborative effort of research funding and innovation advisors at the University of Jyväskylä. In the presentation, we explore the development phases of the workshop from an open event to a tailored workshop offered to support the design of individual projects. Working at a multidisciplinary university, we must see the concept of impact from its wider perspective and the workshop must meet both the needs of humanities and sciences. Therefore, the tools had to be designed to serve all the disciplines. For example, how to describe the TRL levels for humanities had to be presented in a practical way. We benchmarked the best practices and tools, that were incorporated into our workshop. The workshop served the whole lifecycle of H2020, rising researchers’ know-how on how to describe the impact, determine TRL, write an exploitation plan, and identify stakeholders. The development led to a broadening of the definition of the impact that was useful for the success of research proposals but did not improve the innovation activity as we hoped. Now in the HE – program, the Impact Workshop will return to its roots. The HE impact pathway demands close collaboration of innovation and research funding advisors to get the focus to the exploitation of the results. With the new approach, we aim to enhance the impact of our research project in terms of a better success rate and increased innovation activity. The impact workshop is a service that is here to stay, research projects greatly benefit from innovation and commercialization know-how, stakeholder engagement and the continuous development and evaluation of the services is key to success.