Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Increasing Impact of the EU¿s International S&T Cooperation for the Transition towards Sustainable Development

Funded under: FP5-INCO 2


The present working paper is based on two ad hoc workshops in 2003 and 2004 and continued interaction between some of the participants, but validated and endorsed by all authors. Its starting point was the question how to increase societal impact of international scientific cooperation in the transition towards sustainable development. This requires some analysis what impact is, which factors determine it, which ones can best be acted upon and how. Impact is assessed with emphasis on increasing S&T capacity in partner countries of the Union¿s international scientific and technological cooperation and contributing knowledge that helps solve societal problems with emphasis on the specific context of partner countries.
Three parameters emerged as particularly important for determining impact at project level: (i) trust, (ii) perceived relevance and (iii) communication capability. Further analysis showed clearly the limits of potential achievement of individual projects though internalising attention to the three parameters is very likely to increase impact.
Larger societal impact depends heavily on an enabling policy environment that translates into (i) minimum infrastructure for research, (ii) organises demand for knowledge and its uptake and (iii) upstream and downstream linkages to education and innovation. It is understood that impact at such scales takes time to materialise, but time scales are compressible when suitable policies are in place and enforced not only by the European Union but particularly by its partners in other parts of the world.

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