Client: bmvit, mobility of the future 2nd call for tenders
Duration: March 2014 to August 2015 (18 months)
Project partner: KMU Forschung Austria
The assessment of the effects of research funding programmes in the RTI area has become increasingly important in recent years. On the one hand, an increase in the need for legitimacy in the sense of justifying the use of public funds by politicians can be observed, which has established impact assessment of RTI policy measures as the basis for evidence-based policy making. On the other hand, as a consequence of this, within the framework of impact-oriented budget management
more and more precise statements on the actual scope of RTI policy support programmes are also called for.
Concepts for analysing the effects in relation to “classic” RTI policy objectives (increasing competitiveness, improving cooperation structures especially between science and industry, increasing innovation capacity etc.) have already been extensively investigated and repeatedly discussed in public in recent years. Recently, however, other dimensions of impact such as environmental impacts, have come increasingly to the fore. The socially relevant social impact spectra of RTI-political programmes such as those addressed in the thematic areas of „personal mobility” and „mobility of goods” (e.g. utilisation and accessibility of the transport system or securing the supply of goods and services etc.) or as intended or unintended side effects (e.g. social cohesion and integration through the joint use of a mobility application), have been little studied to date.
Against this background, the aim of this study was to develop a concept with the help of which programme-induced, socially relevant, social effects of funding programmes in the field of mobility research can be assessed. The concept provides various instruments and methods (catalogue of objectives, impact model, set of methods for recording relevant indicators, overview of relevant secondary statistical data sources, definition of the delimitation of programme-induced impact contributions etc.). These were developed by the study team – based on the state of the art in the field of impact assessment – and validated by a broad circle of experts (through the case studies and through an expert workshop on collective reflection).
The result of the study represents a general concept or model that serves as the basis for
assessing the socially relevant social impact dimensions of research funding programmes in the field of mobility or other RTI programmes with similar objectives. The suitability of the model to be developed was examined using selected example projects from previous and current calls for proposals in the innovative fields of personal mobility and mobility of goods of the “Mobility of the Future” programme, and the model was adapted accordingly where necessary. On the basis of the findings of the study, it was also necessary to derive recommendations on how the “Mobility of the Future” programme can be better aligned in the future in order to achieve more positive effects.
The study was aimed at the bmvit and the FFG as well as other ministries and agencies in the field of RTI policy. However, it can be assumed that the results of the study
should also be of great interest to the general professional public in the field of evaluation and impact assessment and will also be appropriately recognised and discussed here. One example in this context is the Research and Technology Evaluation Platform, whose members come from various policy-making institutions (e.g. bmvit, bmwfj, bmwf) of FTI funding (e.g. FFG, FWF, aws, CDG, etc.) as well as institutions carrying out evaluations (e.g. KMU Forschung Austria, Technopolis, Joanneum Research, AIT, WIFO, IHS etc.) and whose aim is to further develop evaluation culture and evaluation practice in Austria in a comprehensive sense. Overall, the study is expected to lead to an increase of knowledge in the area of the social effects of RTI policy programmes (in the field of mobility), which are becoming increasingly important but have not yet been examined to a great extent. Since this has so far also been discussed in international academic circles but not yet very developed, this study can make a significant contribution to the development of corresponding impact models and thus to the (further) development of evaluation practice.
Contact: Alex Schubert