In this edition: Looking back on the SSH Conference, Success-Strategies for Academic-Industrial Collaboration and the upcoming AESIS Course in Leuven!
5, 7 & 9 November, 2018
6-7 November, 2018
11-12 November, 2018
15 November, 2018
16 November, 2018
19-20 November, 2018

28 - 30 November, 2018
3-5 April, 2019
6-7 June, 2019
'Impact of Social Sciences & Humanities' AESIS Conference: Creating impressive ideas to enhance the impact agenda of SSH

Last week, on the 4th and 5th of October, academics, policy makers, researchers and many others came together to discuss the Impact Agenda on the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). In all, the general appreciation of the AESIS conference was rated by the attendants with an 8,5. The conference was chaired by David Budtz Pedersen (Director of Humanomics Research Centre, Denmark), and truly created lively debates between various experienced experts, generating an interesting exchange of ideas and research strategies.

Besides Pedersen, presentations on the conference were given by (among others) Michael Shanks (Stanford University, US), Mihiri Seneviratne (Cabinet's Office, UK) and David Skorton (Smithsonian Institute, US).

More photo's of the conference are available on the AESIS conference page.
Civil society organisation VA (Public & Science) formulates three concrete policy advises for new Swedish Government
Vetenskap & Allmänhet (VA)

Since 2017, VA (Public & Science) has been co-ordinating campaigns to promote evidence-informed policy making and the use of research-based knowledge in society, including March for Science and Hur vet du det? (How do you know that?). Together with 60 organisations, VA has formulated three concrete pieces of advice for Sweden’s next government.

On election day, 9 September 2018, more than four out of five Swedes went to the polls to cast their votes. On the same day, 61 national organisations, companies and authorities published a joint opinion piece in the national newspaper Svenska Dagbladet on the fact that there has been a substantial decrease in the use of research-related terminology in this year’s election manifestos.

In order to uphold democracy and transparency, it is vital that voters know what future policy is based on.The #hurvetdudet initiative would therefore like to encourage the next group of politicians that hold power, regardless of the composition of parties, to make use of the collective knowledge and experience that underpins science. VA's joint advice concerns the following three areas:

1. Commission more systematic reviews of research-based knowledge existing within specific fields. Independent experts, as well as authorities and government officials, should more often be assigned to compile broader reviews.

2. Reforms should be based on available research results and evidence and their impact systematically evaluated. If possible, undertake pilots before implementing nationally.

3. Encourage researchers to engage with society and create incentives for them to participate in public debate and outreach activities as part of their academic profession.

New Development Grants support teams using implementation science to improve care in Canada
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research's (MSFHR) new Implementation Science Team (IST) Program is designed to address a gap in understanding how research findings and other evidence-based practices are taken up to ultimately improve health and health care in British Columbia (BC), Canada.
Consisting of two phases, a Development Grant and a Project Grant, the program supports teams of researchers and research users to plan, conduct and study the implementation of proven health interventions to improve the quality and effectiveness of health, health services and care in BC.

“Implementation science is important because it provides evidence to inform the integration of interventions into practice settings. In BC, we are interested in using this science to improve how health care is delivered across our province. This program, the first of its kind for MSFHR, is an opportunity to enhance health care as well as grow BC's implementation science capacity,” says MSFHR President & CEO Dr. Bev Holmes.

Read the full article here.
Times Higher Education develops a new ranking based on UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Rahul Ghosh, Vertigo Adventures
Working in partnership with Vertigo Ventures, Times Higher Education (THE) is set to launch the world’s first university impact ranking.

A final methodology workshop will be held at THE’s World Academic Summit in Singapore later this month, with open webinar Q&As for participating universities planned shortly after. The first edition will be published at THE’s Innovation and Impact Summit at South Korea’s KAIST in April 2019.

This is the first global initiative to document evidence of higher education impact and is designed to capture unique new insights on universities’ work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will remain subject to ongoing consultative discussion and is expected to develop over time, with a long-term objective to recognise performance against all 17 SDGs. It will factor in aspects of university research, operations and impact.

THE had originally planned for the ranking to focus primarily on universities’ economic impact. However, following discussion and feedback from the higher education sector and Vertigo Ventures, the approach was expanded to embrace a much wider definition of impact, basing the overall analysis on the SDGs, to better reflect universities’ broader impact on society.

An updated Research Metrics Guidebook has been made avalaible to lowdown on research metrics
Elsevier have just released a new edition of their free metrics guidebook, including updates to the societal impact metrics. The Research Metrics Guidebook is intended to be a straightforward, practical companion to the use of tools like Scopus and SciVal, which are a part of the Research Intelligence portfolio of solutions. It provides facts about how the data underlying the metrics are used, how the metrics are calculated and displayed, and how variables besides performance that can affect the metrics.

It also provides some suggestions about situations where the metrics are useful, when care should be taken, and how shortcomings may be addressed.

One can download the guidebook via this link.
Strengthening Impact in The Netherlands: The case of ZonMw
Wendy Reijmerink, ZonMw

Achieving societal impact of research, as an important driver for continuous improvement and innovation in policy and practice, is a hot topic around the globe. Research funding agencies can contribute to this by ensuring value in research and assess the impact.

Last month, Wendy Reijmerink has produced a paper that provides insight in how the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) has taken up this role. Since this is work in progress and shared responsibility in all scientific fields of expertise and societal sectors, both national and international, the AESIS community is invited to further elaborate and collaborate on how to accelerate impact and societal value of (health) research.

The paper can be read via this link.
Book recommendation: ''Strategic Industry-University Partnerships: Success-Factors from Innovative Companies''
Editors: Max Riedel (Siemens AG) and Lars Frolund (Aarhus University)

Strategic Industry-University Partnerships: Success-Factors from Innovative Companies depicts how to structure and foster productive collaborations between universities and large and mid-size multinational corporations. This pragmatic book unveils insights of experts from leading companies on managing partnerships with universities. Industry-university partnerships have proved vital to innovation, and although these partnerships can be challenging, careful choices and wise management around five success-factors leads to a systematic approach that unlocks value for both parties. University assessments of these partnerships have been widely described, but industry perspectives are less well understood. This volume captures observations of leading international corporations without omitting university views. It can serve all partners in alliances as a guide to strengthening their organizations.
In all, the key features of the book of Max Riedel and Lars Frolund are that it unveils insights of experts from BMW, DuPont, Ferrovial, IBM, Novo Nordisk, Rolls-Royce, Schlumberger, and Siemens; presents the key challenges of university-industry collaboration and how world-leading companies tackle them; and describes the success-factors for working with universities, such as selecting focus areas, university partners and collaboration formats in a systematic way and having the right organizational support and evaluation criteria.

The intended audience of the volume are among others innovation managers, R&D managers, university administrators, professors, graduate students and researchers interested in public-private cooperation.

The book can be purchased via this site.
Evaluation of Public Engagement activities and the birth of the Italian network of universities and research centres
Sandra Romagnosi & Brigida Blasi (ANVUR – National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes, Italy) & Andrea de Bortoli (APEnet – Universities and Research Centers for Public Engagement Network)

In the second round of the Italian research evaluation exercise VQR 2011-2014 (Valutazione della Qualità della Ricerca 2011-2014) conducted by ANVUR, a broad definition of Third Mission activities has been adopted. Besides the technology transfer traditionally encompassed, the Public Engagement activities carried out by Italian universities have been evaluated in terms of:
- clarity of objectives
- commitment of internal resources and attraction of external resources
- periodicity
- demonstrable impact at local/national/international level
- presence and quality of ex post evaluation actions.

Nearly 7.000 initiatives have been assessed and the results clearly show that Public Engagement is getting more and more important as a cultural dynamo involving the academic and administrative staff of scientific institutions and the whole society.

Still it has emerged the need to better define the perimeter of the PE activities and to improve the quality of data and monitoring systems, especially in the perspective of the next round of VQR. With this aim, ANVUR has started a review of the evaluation framework in collaboration with high level experts and representatives of academic institutions. In this process, the collaboration with APEnet, the brand new network of Italian universities and research centers for Public Engagement, is playing a key role. The network was established in March 2018 and today it counts over 40 entities ( – currently only available in Italian, the English version will be coming soon).

APEnet is a space to share, study and design tools, ideas and innovative actions to promote in Italy the PE cultural change: listening, dialogue and collaboration with the society are the tools for an inclusive growth where universities and research centres are the main actors.
Key objectives of APEnet are:
  • to contribute - in collaboration with the various institutional actors of the Italian research system - to the valorisation and evaluation of the Public Engagement initiatives;
  • to sensitize and train the staff of the universities and research institutions;
  • to share and promote national and international experiences;
  • to develop a common and shared platform for the promotion, monitoring and evaluation of Public Engagement initiatives;
  • to promote and develop the presence of Public Engagement within university programs (degree courses and doctoral programs);
  • to promote research on Public Engagement.
Why might research active healthcare organisations provide improved performance?
Antonio García Romero (IE Business School)
Whether, and how, research active organisation provide improved healthcare was debated at a seminar at Brunel on Wednesday 8 August. Colleagues from The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and local universities joined researchers from Brunel and former senior managers from research funding bodies to discuss the latest research on this key topic.

 The seminar was organised by the Brunel Partners Academic Centre for Health Sciences (BPACHS) and the Health Economics Research Group (HERG). Welcoming the audience, Belinda Norris, Director of BPACHS, highlighted the importance of the topic to aims of the BPACHS. It is especially relevant for the ‘Research and innovation’ and ‘Quality Improvement’ workstreams within the BPACHS.
The seminar attendees overwhelmingly said that they had increased their knowledge of the benefits of undertaking research within healthcare organisations and would be very likely to consider participating in research in the future.
Read the full report here.
THREAD: Textile Hub for Refugees' Empowerment, Employment and Entrepreneurship Advancement in Denmark - a new model
Jane Malcom-Davies and Marie-Louise Bech Nosch (University of Copenhagen)

THREAD is a dynamic and innovative collaboration of diverse partners from business, design, education, research, culture institutions and NGOs aiming to achieve life-changing results for women who are forging new lives in Denmark. Integration is currently a key challenges for refugees and their host countries. This project seeks to help solve this problem by developing and testing a themed model of Empowerment, Employment and Entrepreneurship opportunities. The model offers a step-change programme to women refugees with differing levels of life experience and educational qualifications, which may be accessed according to their individual confidence and competence.

The shared theme, textiles and fashion, is explored in various research groups uniting refugee women and partner stakeholders. This includes exploration of everyday clothing and textile terminologies in languages such as Arabic, Tigrinya and Kurdish with refugees women with relevant linguistic skills and linguists; craft workshops with Danish designers; wardrobe studies research by academics collaborating with refugees about their lost clothing and new wardrobe choices; training in textile craft skills with diplomas to document unconventional transferable skills.

The research design is based on two-way learning throughout the projects. The project has a total budget of DKK 6.6 million (€ 880,000) and was made possible thanks to a generous investment of DKK 4,8 million (€ 640,000) from Innovations Fund Denmark.

Click here for more information on the project.


AESIS Course: 'Integrating societal impact in a research strategy' 
28 - 30 November 2018 in Leuven, BE

Science funders and research programme designers are constantly challenged to maintain an effective and efficient science funding system, while justifying the investments in scientific research towards their stakeholders. As a result of the economic downturn and the increased understanding of the limitations of existing justification frameworks, the pressure increases on governmental and non-governmental science funding organisations to increase the extent to which they demonstrate the socio-economical and societal returns on their investments in science.

In all parts of the world, experts are working on improving the process of measuring and demonstrating the impact of science on society. In the past years, new methods have been developed to better justify and demonstrate the societal impact of scientific research by universities and research institutions. Increasingly, research councils do not just ask to promise impact of new research ideas, but also to plan activities to involve stakeholders and realise impact. Universities and universities of applied sciences develop impact strategies at regional and sectoral level.

During this interactive training course, experts from multiple countries, leading the innovation in research funding approaches, will discuss their experiences. They provide insights on how you can organise a research strategy in such a way that it strengthens societal impact. We are very pleased to announce that  Barend van der Meulen (Rathenau Institute) and Kathryn Graham (Alberta Innovatives) have confirmed to be the course's Programme Coordinators once more. Already confirmed keynote speakers at the course are Koenraad Debackere (KU Leuven), David Budtz Pedersen (Humanomics Research Centre) and Mike Smith (Harper Keeley).

Information and Registration for the Course

In the Trenches: Research Translation for Health Impact
University of Oxford
On November 16, 2018, The University of Oxford organizes a one day symposium with a specific focus on health impact. Research and Innovation (R&I) impact assessment offers much more than an after-the-fact accounting of outcomes - it is a trainsformational approach to value co-creation, capture, and communication that sets the stage for successful implemantation. You will join experts, peers, and practitioners in an interactive session focused on realizing the full potential of aligning assessment frameworks and research translation for optimal impact. Reasons for participation are to:
  • Increase your understanding of leading approaches, frameworks and tools to optimize impact
  • Participate in critical discussion with peers and cutting-edge thinkers to advance the practice
  • Join this vibrant community of practice through networking in a dynamic inspiring environment
Read more about this event here.

2018 Online Knowledge Translation (KT) Conference
Joann Starks, Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR)

Are you interested in learning strategies for engaging in systematic outreach to stakeholders as part of your KT research and development activities? Registration is now open for the 2018 Online KT Conference: Engaging Ways to Engage Stakeholders.

Interested parties are invited to participate in this conference designed for grantees and other stakeholders of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The free, virtual conference takes place across three afternoons (from 1.00 to 5.00 p.m. on the 5th, 7th and 9th) during one work week in November, 2018.

At this conference, global experts will present on impactful topics, including:
  • How to engage stakeholders early: Project planning strategies and integrated KT
  • How to engage stakeholders often: Implementation and evaluation strategies
  • How to know you’ve had an impact on stakeholders: Measurement and sustainability
To register for the free 2018 online KT Conference, please visit this site. For more information, please check out the conference website.
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