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A measurable impact: Synthesis of 1993 BRITE/EURAM evaluation studies

Two major studies were carried out in 1993 to evaluate the impact of the research actions under the BRITE/EURAM II programme for research in industrial and materials technologies (1991-1994). The European Commission, DG XII, has now published the results of these studies in a ...

Two major studies were carried out in 1993 to evaluate the impact of the research actions under the BRITE/EURAM II programme for research in industrial and materials technologies (1991-1994). The European Commission, DG XII, has now published the results of these studies in a report entitled "BRITE/EURAM: A measurable impact". The first study relates to the evaluation of the results of the research projects which came to an end in 1992. This evaluation was part of an ongoing series of overall evaluations to map the progress and development of EC programmes, and covered 84 BRITE/EURAM projects completed in 1992. The second study evaluated the economic effects of the BRITE/EURAM programme on European industry. It was carried out in addition to the formal evaluation of the programme and was conducted by an independent panel of experts, who looked at a statistically representative group of 50 projects. As described in the report, the studies examined the projects in light of the following: - Scientific and technological success; - Economic effects; - Impact on society and the environment. The report also examines the factors influencing the transfer of successful research results to the marketplace: - Market orientation and risks; - Support still needed; - The CRAFT scheme and the impact on SMEs. Evaluation of the BRITE/EURAM programme came to the conclusion that the projects: - Aim to link fundamental research with more industrially applied research; - Are usually (approx. 75%) scientifically/technologically successful and compare well with the international state of the art; - Generate more potential economic impact than the efforts initially invested; - Are overwhelmingly positive for the environment, society, health and working conditions; - Are helping Europe's researchers and industrialists overcome the many barriers separating them; - Are efficiently run. Large companies, however, seem to benefit more than SMEs. Specific schemes targeting SMEs have been launched over the past few years to tackle this problem, and schemes such as CRAFT were confirmed as being generally successful. In addition, the report indicates the key parameters for the success or failure of an industrial cross-border research project.