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Information & Communication Technologies

Impact of ICT research

Analysing and documenting the impact of EU-funded research activities is key for assessing the return on investment of past actions and for making strategic decisions on future activities.

Impact observatory – WING framework

An Impact Analysis Observatory was set up by DG INFSO in 2005 to analyse the impact of completed RTD projects in the ICT area, starting from FP5. The objective was to establish a framework for a systematic and rolling process of data collection, analysis, interpretation and reporting.

The observatory focused on the following types of impacts:

  • Scientific and technological impacts;
  • Economic impacts;
  • Social and environmental impacts;
  • Policy and regulation impacts.

It looked at long-term impacts, which can occur a few years after project end, rather than direct results and outcomes of projects.

Ex-post impact analysis contributes to the continuous and systematic monitoring and ex-post evaluations, which are a formal requirement for the Commission.

A total of 15 domain-specific studies covering FP5 projects have been performed. An additional study looked at the impact of a first wave of completed FP6 projects completed by the end of 2007.

Key reports and documents

FP6 IST Impact Analysis Study: Final Report (700KB)

Brochure: On target! Impacts of European ICT Research (1,2KB)

Previous studies

1/ Impact Study

Launched in 2003, the "Impact study" led by DATABANK developed a methodology for the systematic impact analysis of all IST RTD activities and tested the methodology on three specific domains: "Microelectronics and microsystems", "eHealth" and " Mobile communications".

According to the study, the IST priority in FP5 and its predecessors in FP4 contributed substantially to the increase of the knowledge base, the skills of researchers and the development of research and knowledge networks in the Microelectronics and Microsystems, Mobile communications, and Health research areas, leading to enhanced competitiveness for most participant organisations.

Key reports and documents

Final Report , Micro , Health , Mobile , Methodology

Extract from final report, November 2004

Presentation of Impact Study, November 2004

2/ Study on Impact of IST Programme and its predecessors

In March 2003 a consortium led by IZET was contracted to carry out the "Study of the impact of the IST programme and its predecessor programmes Esprit IV, ACTS and TAP". The objective was to provide some input for the work of the 5 Year Assessment Panel. The Final Report was submitted in May 2004.

The study is based mainly on the analysis of all documents available (final reports, TIPs, exploitation plans, etc.) for about 900 IST RTD projects funded under FP4 and FP5, with a specific focus on business and economic impacts. The methodology involves the positioning of each project with the use of 25 indicators grouped in five categories and the identification of 58 "high impact projects". Though the study is mainly focused on project level, an attempt was made to provide some conclusions also at domain level, in particular in the area of "Microelectronics and microsystems" and "Language engineering".

Key reports and documents

Final Report, May 2004

Presentation of the study, May 2004