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Assessing and fostering the impacts of Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Innovation Actions (IA) granted by Societal Challenge 5 in 2014-2015

The action should assess the impacts of all the Research and Innovation Action (RIA) and Innovation Action (IA) projects funded by Societal Challenge 5 under the 2014-2015 Work Program through in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis (87 projects in total).

The action should apply an existing methodology, or develop a more suitable one, to measure and better understand the progress made by and achievements of these projects. The projects' impacts should then be compared with the expected impact statements in the Work Program for each of the relevant topics. Among others, the impacts assessed should include: state-of-the-art, knowledge creation, scientific progress and filling knowledge gaps,; impacts on environmental and climate objectives; support and contribution to the European policy targets; improving resource and energy efficiency; better air, soil and water quality; creation, implementation and deployment of technological and social innovative solutions; creation of new market opportunities; market and social up-take, replicability of innovative and sustainable technological and non-technological solutions; enhanced competitiveness; leverage of additional investment in research and innovation in green solutions; and contribution to the SDGs.

The assessed projects could achieve relevant impacts not explicitly mentioned in call text. For these cases the action shall identify and assess the additional impacts.

The proposals should identify the actions needed to achieve the impacts planned in the grants agreements of funded projects, as well as any barriers to their achievement. Best practices and recommendations for effectively and realistically enhancing the potential impact of actions funded by future work programmes should also be proposed.

The action should engage in active communication and promotion of its results, including a final dissemination workshop.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 0.6 million and with a duration of 12 months would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts or duration.

Impact is one of the keywords of Horizon 2020. The Horizon 2020 Regulation[[Horizon 2020 - Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (no.1291/2013)]] establishes performance indicators aimed to facilitate and measure the overall impacts of the funded actions. The Work Programme 2014-2015 listed the expected impacts of each specific topic, which were used as criteria to evaluate proposals and select the projects to be funded. Nevertheless, despite this emphasis on impact, the overall performance indicators defined in Horizon 2020 are not sufficient to fully capture and assess the outcomes and impacts of projects; in particular in relation to innovation performance and its effects on resource efficiency, environment and climate change. In a context of tighter budgets and more public attention on the effectiveness of public funding and EU-funded research, there is a need to assess the performance, impact and effectiveness of actions funded by Horizon 2020.

the action is expected to contribute to:

  • maximising the impact of Societal Challenge 5 projects on environmental (including climate), social and economic objectives;
  • enhancing the outcomes of future Work Programmes, through a better understanding of the relationship between the Work Programmes and project impacts;
  • demonstrating and improving the performance of projects funded by Societal Challenge 5;
  • preparing the Societal Challenge 5 part of the future ex-post evaluation of Horizon 2020.