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In this edition: Scientific impact on the Maori, crowd funding research, brain pressure measurements, the Winter Course and Spring Course!
In less than a month, the AESIS network will celebrate the end of its first entire calendar-year, which has proven to be a very fruiteful one. Since January of this year, our community has more than doubled in size, with members from 40 different countries exchanging knowledge on societal impact of science. Now, six newsletters, an Annual conference, an EU seminar, a Winter course and a webinar later, the societal impact-field seems to have only expanded. More questions are in need of answers, more stakeholders are getting involved, and more concrete strategies and solutions are being demanded. This means AESIS has a lot of ground to cover, while staying focused on more in-depth analyses of the existing discussions.
As AESIS members, you are the ambassadors of our community, and we hope you will continue sharing your insights within and outside of the network in 2017 and the following years to come. On behalf of the AESIS staff I wish you happy holidays and we hope you will enjoy this year's last newsletter!

Anika S. Duut van Goor
General manager, AESIS Network
In this edition
CALENDAR
8 December
31 January
(8), 9-10 March
4 April

26-28 April
31 May - 2 June
12-13 June
Footprint SSH, Ghent
Conference on Quality and Relevance of Research, Rotterdam
AESIS Spring Course, Barcelona
AESIS-Elsevier Webinar, online
Broader Impacts Summit, Stevenson WA
Times Higher Education Summit, Hong Kong
AESIS Impact of Science Conference
& the 'Sweden Impact Award'
, Stockholm
NEWS
Scientific impact on the Māori
by Richard Gordon
At the 2016 AESIS Annual conference in Amsterdam, Richard Gordon spoke about the work of the New Zealand institute, Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua, to develop leading indicators for increasing the impact of science and its value to users. Value was defined, for example, in terms of co-innovation, integrating across scales and disciplines, developing “whole solutions” rather than results in silos and bringing science alongside other world-views to find new understandings.

In New Zealand the indigenous Māori people are seeking sustainable development options for their land, returned to them under Treaty of Waitangi negotiations with the Crown. They are engaging increasingly with science as a partner in this development. In the recent round of government science funding proposals led by Landcare Research won 33 million euros (US$35 million) over five years for land environment research in several fields: from soils, to honey to kiwi. The majority of these programmes have a strong engagement with Māori. They also reflect the learnings of our work on science value and impact that we presented in Amsterdam. As the new funding was 25% of the total available in the fund for all areas of science it was rather more than we expected and there are good opportunities for engaging new capabilities in our programmes! We welcome expressions of interest in collaboration. More information about the new programmes is available here.
Impact of Science 2017

Annual Conference
12-13 June 2017
Stockholm

The AESIS Network will host it's annual 'Impact of Science' conference on 12 and 13 June 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. This year, the conference will focus on 'Building alliances for synergy between world class science and societal impact'. We are proud to announce the most recent experts who have confirmed their contribution to our programme, namely Dame Ann GloverJan-Eric Sundgren, Helene Dannetun and Robert-Jan Smits.
Read more about these speakers and the rest of the programme on our website

Registration is now possible. The Early Bird offer expires on 31 December 2016, 23.59H (CET).
Programme and Registration
by Tzameret Rubin

Impact@SBE is an impact team at the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University, UK. Among its other tasks to help the school’s academics to develop and monitor their research impact, it explores newer, non-traditional ways of promoting impact, such as Crowdfunding for Research. 

Apparently, a dedicated policy for this is not common across UK universities (even in bodies such as HEFCE). Therefore, the team has decided to open the discussion and explore possibilities. To kick-start (yet not Kickstarter..) this initiative, The Crowdfunding Centre was invited to attend an event, which saw academics from across the campus discuss how this emerging form of funding can complement traditional methods of obtaining research funding.

Professor Tom Jackson, Associate Dean for Research at the SBE and Director of the Centre for Information Management, highlighted the importance of this and commented: “Especially as securing research funding becomes more challenging we are looking for innovative ways to fund research that matters.

According to Impact@SBE, using crowdfunding for research could be a great mechanism for engaging with the public to increase research impact, a goal that is aligned with one of the main objectives in Lord Stern’s Review ‘Building on Success and Learning from Experience. An Independent Review of the REF’, July 2016 that says “We recommend that impact on public engagement and understanding are emphasised.”

Crowdfunding shows a 48.3 per cent guaranteed funding rate (a figure that any researcher would embrace warmly), with the average project size costing £3,730. Furthermore, there are only around 6 per cent of repeat backers for projects, which means researchers can engage with different audience for each funding campaign, and hence increase their research exposure.
[...] Read further online.
By Dr. Leonas Balaševičius

Traumatic brain injury and central nervous system tumours rank among the leading causes of death worldwide. In Europe, approximately 2.5 million people suffer a TBI each year, leading to 75 000 fatalities. Elevated cranial pressure, the result of head traumas and brain tumours, is a potentially deadly complication. But although time is of the essence in detecting irregular cranial pressures, conventional diagnosis relies on time-consuming, invasive surgery at increased risk for patients. 

A new generation of innovative scanning devices invented by Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania) researcher Arminas Ragauskas (69) solves the problem: based on the sonic Doppler wavelength effect, the ultrasound scanners provide precise and instant pressure measurements via a probe applied to the patient's eye. Besides elevated cranial pressures, the devices also detect stroke, glaucoma, and brain tumours.

"The scanning devices invented by Arminas Ragauskas provide quick and accurate measurements of cranial pressure levels, allowing doctors to initiate life-saving treatments on time, which was previously impossible”, said European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoît Battistelli. 
For this achievement, the Arminas Ragauskas was named as one of three finalists for the European Inventor Award 2016 in the category "Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)"
AESIS Winter Course 2016 - Summary by the chairs
Saba Hinrichs-Krapels, Barend van der Meulen

How to define impact?  Should we get rid of indicators?  How can we support academics to understand impact? These were the types of questions raised by thirty professionals from ten countries in Copenhagen from the 16-18 November, at the 2nd AESIS Wintercourse on Integrating Societal Impact in a Research Strategy. Thanks to a team of wonderful lecturers, they were able to catch up with the most recent experiences and insight in how societal impact can be managed.They tamed this many-headed beast called “impact” by sharing their experiences with the Research Excellence Framework, university strategies on impact, logic charts, industry expectations and so more.

As the programme had more time scheduled for interaction with the lecturers and among the participants, participants had ample opportunity to exchange their own experiences and benchmark them to the lecturers views. Some of the messages that emerged from lectures, discussions and the challenging exercise (design an impact strategy for a new research program!), were:
  • There are many impacts. Focus on those impacts that relate to the mission of your organisation or research program. Don’t try to capture all impacts.
  • Impact does not only come from research. It needs other activities and interactions to happen.
  • Impacts that may occur in 30 years are not very helpful to develop an impact strategy. Think in realistic time frames for the intermediate points towards impact and the types of impact activities you can plan for realistically. 
Participants indicated they would surely recommend the course to peer professionals responsible for impact assessment and fostering impact in their organisations.
Evaluating and Optimising
the regional impact of science


Spring Course
(8), 9-10 March 2017
Barcelona
The AESIS Network will host it's next course 'Evaluating and optimising the regional impact of science'  on 9 and 10 March 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Many regional and local governments want to develop a joint approach with these universities in order to optimise their regional economic output. For all parties involved, it is important to discuss what instruments are available to evaluate and optimise the regional impact of science. This training course aims to internationally exchange good practises for achieving this. A social programme is available on March 8, which includes the highlights of Barcleona and a visit to its science parks and innovation hotspots.

More information and registration is possible via the link below.
Programme and registration
Short News

Did you know November 10 was world science day? It is an initiative from UNESCO and is celebrated since 2001. This years' theme was Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums.

 
        


Did you know every year the Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship is awarded to a producer making films that explore the impact of science? This year's winner was Sally Wainwright.

       

AESIS members can now submit articles for the next newsletter. Not a member yet? Becoming one is free! Register now.
 
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