Research and Development Impact Assessment for Innovation-Enabling Organizations

By Schramm, Laurier L.; Nyirfa, Wanda et al. | Canadian Public Administration, December 2011 | Go to article overview

Research and Development Impact Assessment for Innovation-Enabling Organizations


Schramm, Laurier L., Nyirfa, Wanda, Grismer, Kenelm, Kramers, John, Canadian Public Administration


Many research and development (R&D) organizations exist to enable innovation through the provision of science-based technology services, ranging from applied research through development, design, testing, scale-up, demonstrafion, and technology transfer into the marketplace. (1) These include public-sector organizations, like the government-owned research and technology organizations (RTOs), and private-sector organizations, like the not-for-profit research and engineering companies and the research and engineering departments or subsidiaries of listed and privately held business corporations. One thing that each of these organizations has in common is an ever-increasing need to measure and demonstrate the outcomes and the impacts of their R&D and therefore the return on investment that their work delivers, regardless of whether the original investments came from internally or externally generated funds, from the public or private sectors, or both.

We have developed an R&D impact assessment tool (i.e., Smart Science Impacts[TM]) that relies on "the voice of the customer" to provide inputs that can be aggregated and scaled-up to provide conservative estimates of R&D return on investment. Although the Saskatchewan Research Council originally developed the Smart Science Impacts[TM] tool for use by government RTOs, the tool can be adapted for use by any organization or organizational unit that conducts, funds or contracts R&D.

In order to illustrate the development and use of the tool, this article highlights as a case study its evolution at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), a Crown corporation and RTO based in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The council has a public-good mandate to help the people of Saskatchewan develop a strong economy, with quality jobs and a secure environment. It does this by developing and providing innovative, scientific and technological solutions, applications and services that, branded as Smart Science Solutions[TM], help business and industry grow and thrive.

Building on a modest level of base government investment (about twenty-five per cent of total revenues), SRC provides most of its services through individual or consortium-style contract projects, frequently in collaboration or partnership with universities, various levels of government, and a wide range of private-sector organizations. The total amount of SRC's R&D work is now over Can$80 million per year.

Given its mandate, as noted above, a key success measure for SRC would logically be its impact on the Saskatchewan economy. This would not only tie to SRC's mandate but to its business success, which is dependent on the success of SRC's clients. However, from SRC's inception in 1947 until very recently, SRC did not actually measure its impact on the economy. For many years it was felt that it would be extremely difficult to assess the return on money invested in research and development, although as a market-pull R&D organization it was taken as an article of faith that reaching a successful conclusion to almost any of the significant research and development programs would contribute large returns on investment. An example is the following quote from SRC's 1949 annual report:

It is difficult to assess the return on money invested in research; certainly no attempt will be made to arrive at an estimate in this report. It may be observed, however, that a relatively small proportion of the provincial income is spent upon research. A successful conclusion to almost any of the projects listed above will offer the people of this province a potential return far beyond the amounts invested (Saskatchewan Research Council 1950: 1).

In order to achieve greater accountability for its work, and to provide a credible means of demonstrating its success, SRC launched a project in 2002 to develop an economic impact audit process that would ensure that collected data would provide a solid indication of the direct economic impact of SRC's work. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Research and Development Impact Assessment for Innovation-Enabling Organizations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.