What does society receive in return for investing in research and innovation? Finding ways to show the value generated by research investments in tangible terms is becoming increasingly important. But measuring the outputs and impacts of a research activity is no easy task.
This was the topic of a major conference on research and innovation policy recently hosted by the Research Council of Norway.
Among the featured speakers was Dr Julia Lane, Programme Director of the Science of Science and Innovation Policy at the US National Science Foundation.
“We must be able to tell taxpayers and the authorities why it benefits society to invest in research,” was her premise. It is a demanding task involving many factors and long time frames.
“The key to creating better systems of measurement lies in cooperating across national borders, institutions and research communities,” she asserted.