Impact Summary on Je-S

Who are the ‘beneficiaries’ of your research?  How will they benefit? 

The first of these (who?) may be quite straightforward, but it may help to brainstorm ideas with people who are not specialists in your area.  A broader perspective can throw up applications you had not considered. Other useful sources of information are websites of industry associations, the government sponsored Knowledge Transfer Networks, EU technology platforms.  In many cases, you will have project partners who can be specifically described here (and can expand on your arguments in their letters of support).

The second one of these will probably follow from the first one. Sometimes the rationale is related to current or planned legislation, for which there is often published information. Your project partners or contacts can also help.

What should not go in the impact plan? 

Note that benefits to academic beneficiaries are specifically excluded. There is a different 4000 character section on this in the Je-S form. 

What if the research is ‘blue skies’?

You should still outline the long term impacts.  The guidance indicates that you can suggest your time horizon – and it could be up to 50 years to exploitation or use.  However, as you are further back in the process, less detail is expected.

Some standard issues you may wish to include

  • Might there be a patent arising from your research project?  Are you expecting that it could be licensed to one of the project partners?  You will need to address this in the collaboration agreement and take advice from your faculty Research & Innovation team.  The patenting and licensing will be dealt with by or the Commercialisation team in RIS.  If there might be a spin off or joint venture, you can refer to the University’s investment partner, IP Group plc.
  • Think about how you are going to actively engage with your target audience.  In nearly all projects, there is scope for considering publicity and public engagement.  Some useful information is available in the University’s Publicity Toolkit.  You could also request a budget for public engagement training for any or all of your project staff and investigators.  The University’s Staff and Departmental Development Unit and your Faculty of Research and Innovation Office may also offer courses. 
  • You could consider running a workshop with user groups, possibly through a charity or industry association. 
  • Be sure to describe impact related tasks within the project plan, work packages and description of project staff roles.  If necessary, you can ask to extend the project by a month or so for these activities.
  • You might also wish to quote directly from those who might benefit from your project.  This shows that you have actively engaged potential end users whilst you are planning your research project rather than it being an afterthought.
  • For larger platform or programme grants, you can ask for dedicated business development support and proof of concept funds, as long as you outline an appropriate structure.