Impact Studies and Foresight

The Role of Research Infrastructures for a competitive Knowledge Economy

Workshop, 29-30 June 2009


Developing World Class Research Infrastructures (RIs) is one of the five pillars of an ambitious European Research Area (ERA)-Vision for the future.
Large scale Research Infrastructures act as centres of competence, which are open and attractive to the best world-level researchers. They contribute in a unique way to both social and economic development. The implementation of the ESFRI Roadmap projects for the construction (or major upgrade) of research facilities of pan-European interest has led to increased attention to studies measuring the scientific, social and economic benefits deriving from these infrastructures.
The European Commission organized in June 2009 a workshop that brought together 60 experts from a variety of specialities relating to the role of RIs for a competitive knowledge economy. The aim of the seminar was threefold:

  • to take stock of actual & recent innovations stemming from European Research Infrastructures;
  • to reflect on the development of best practices to improve the innovation chain where RIs are involved;
  • to identify gaps, needs and possible specifications for possible future impact and foresight studies.

Report on the workshop


Since many gaps were identified, further studies are expected to be supported within the next years.  This is in particular related to specific subjects within the call N°6 under FP7, research infrastructures, specific programme "Capacities", closing on December 3, 2009.


Research Infrastructures actions under the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006): Evaluation of pertinence and impact

Evaluation study, 2009

The Directorates-General for Research and for Information Society and Media commissioned a study to assess the impact of EC activities related to Research Infrastructures under the Sixth Community Research Framework Programme (2002–2006). The study, carried out by Matrix Knowledge Group in cooperation with Rambøll Management and PREST, covered all modes of EU support actions to RIs, except for pure Transnational Access projects.

The aim of the evaluation was to gather a wide range of evidence of the impact of EU support actions on RIs in Europe. The overall objectives of this study were to:

  • assess the added value of Community actions for integrating and developing Research Infrastructures
  • reflect on the socio-economic impact of the Community actions
  • identify gaps, needs and ideas for possible future actions with the aim of strengthening the European Research Area.

Synthesis report (EN) [1,50 Mb] acrobat

Technical Appendices (EN) [1 Mb] acrobat

RI Database Portal