CALL FOR PAPERS

Overview

The largest conference in Europe dedicated to R&I policy evaluation invites submissions of extended abstracts and posters in four focal thematic areas to debate challenges of generating, understanding and assessing impact through R&I policy and the implications for evaluation theory and practice. Contributions do not need to refer to only one thematic area but can be cross-cutting.

We strongly encourage academic as well as policy and practice-based submissions. Thus, contributions from policy-makers, R&I councils, R&I funding agencies, policy experts, intermediary organisations and academics are highly appreciated! Papers and posters from other policy fields which deal with mission-orientation and impact evaluation are explicitly welcomed too!

The conference also encourages contributions with a view on European perspectives.

The extended abstracts and posters will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee. The selected abstracts are invited to make a presentation or poster presentation in the conference. They are also invited to submit a full paper which will be printed in a special conference proceedings issue of the ‘Journal for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation’. The submission of a full paper, however, is not mandatory and does not affect the presentation.

Timetable for the call for extended abstracts and posters:

8 March 2018: Publication of the call for extended abstracts and posters

15 May 2018: Submission deadline

15 June 2018: Selection deadline and invitation of full papers and posters

Submission of full papers to be included in the conference proceedings until 31 October 2018:

THEMES

Themes 1 and 2 are about the new impact agenda in R&I policy and policy support. Themes 3 and 4 are about concepts and methods to assess and evaluate impact as well as learning from evidence.

1) The nature of impact-oriented R&I policy

Theme 1 is dealing with the “what”, i.e.  the nature of impact oriented policy and interventions.

This raises a number of questions: What is impact? Impact on whom? What does impact mean at different levels and scales (e.g. broad challenges, concrete missions, combination of different impact dimensions  such as economic-environmental-societal impacts)? What are conceptual tensions for impact focused R&I policy?

What are political tensions (i.e. Who sets the agenda)? How are missions and challenges framed and decided upon? How are impacts defined?

How to build a broad legitimacy for impact oriented R&I policy? What implications arise from a focus on impact for the governance of R&I policy? How does impact focused R&I policy interact with other policies? How may the role of funding and innovation agencies change?

Which are the relevant impact categories for R&I policy in service of society? How do they interact or contradict with ‘traditional’ science measurements and what are the implications on a system’s level?

What structural and systemic implications arise from a focus on impact for R&I policy? What are the specific challenges, bottlenecks and traps of impact oriented polices? What is the (changing) role of (legal/regulatory) framework conditions?

How should city-based, regional, national and European impact-oriented policies interact? What is the definition of European added value in impact focused R&I policies?

2) Design, implementation and support of impact-oriented R&I policies

Theme 2 is dealing with “how” to support the new mission and impact agenda by addressing strategic intelligence in its broad  meaning.

What (new) policy instruments and (funding and programme) management practices need to be introduced to support impact generation, e.g. by stimulating interaction, experimentation and cross-learning?

How does/can/should R&I policy anticipate, integrate and address societal impacts?  How can strategic intelligence support the design, implementation and evaluation of R&I policies aiming for societal, economic and/or environmental impact and how to make better use of foresight and ex-ante evaluation approaches? How to make evaluation an integral part of mission-oriented R&I policies? What are related positive or negative experiences? 

Which instruments, measures and evaluation approaches are needed to better address and assess new forms of open innovation and open science?

How to conceptualise and align impact generation at the regional, national and European?

3) Leading edge concepts, tools and methods to assess societal impact of R&I policy

Theme 3 focuses on conceptual and methodological evaluation challenges with regards to impact measurement.

How can outcomes and impacts of R&I policy interventions in service of society be conceptualised, operationalised, traced and measured? Which experiences with novel approaches to address the impact agenda can be shared?

How can evaluation methodologies be further developed to measure outcomes (instead of outputs only)? Which new indicators (and data sources) are available or needed to assess societal impact of R&I policies? Which challenges do research information and monitoring systems face vis-a-vis the impact (measurement) agenda and how to make them more dynamic?

How to identify and assess non-intended impacts of R&I policies?

What is the potential of RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) with respect to impact-oriented evaluation designs?

Which role is there for Artificial Intelligence and big data to create and utilise dynamic metrics and real-time data?

4) Effects of and policy learning from impact evaluation

Theme 4 focuses on how to further develop the way we use existing evidence and analysis to improve policy and evaluation? In particular: What can we learn from practices in other policy domains?

Which inspiring practices of learning from impact-oriented evaluation should be enhanced to increase the use of evaluation findings and recommendations?

What can we learn from evaluation processes and evaluation use from other policy domains (e.g. health, climate change, transport, energy, security, development cooperation, agriculture etc.)?

How and what can we learn from national and European outcome and impact evaluations? How to achieve more aligned European approaches and standards in R&I policy assessments and evaluation? How to achieve better comparability?

How can a learning bridge between impact evaluation and technology assessment be established?

What is the relationship between impact-oriented ‘policy controlling’ (e.g. impact-oriented budgeting) and impact assessment focused on societal expectations?

What does impact-oriented policy controlling (e.g. impact-oriented budgeting) want in terms of impact measurement and what does society want?

Format

The extended abstracts should be up to 5 pages (font size: 11pt, 1.5 line spacing, .docx and/or .pdf format). The extended abstract should concisely inform about

  • the object and purpose of the presented policy/measure/evaluation/research
  • the novelty (policy design, approach, methodology)
  • the results (if already available)

Each extended abstract should include a very short abstract at the beginning (which is part of the submission template below), relevant references/literature and author(s) and affiliation(s).

Submission

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