News archive - [Event Review] Open Evaluation 2016

The largest conference in Europe dedicated to the evaluation of policies in the field of research, technology and innovation policy (RTI) took place in Vienna, on 24-25 November 2016, and managed to gather academics, evaluators, research managers, authorities and RTI policy makers in an intriguing debate on the challenging developments in RTI policy and their effects on evaluation theory and practice. The conference is jointly organised by the Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation (FTEVAL), the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) and the Institute for Research and Innovation in society (IFRIS, Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société, Paris).

The conference addressed new actor settings, apporaches and themes in RTI policy evaluation, thus the term OPEN EVALUATION signaled openness towards new values, new stakeholders and beneficiaries and new approaches and themes in RTI policies and RTI evaluations.

The conference opened on 24th November with a Key note by Stevan Hill (HEFCE) who put forward lessons from the Uk experience as to the research impact and its assessment. The speech was followed by a first panel on the trends and challenges in systematic impact evaluation in S&I funding agencies. Speakers from Technopolis Group, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Austrian Federal ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, George Washington University) debated on what is reasonable to ask to innovation funding agencies with reference to the evaluation of policies and two key points arose: the need for agencies for collecting data and the need to differentiate between monitoring and evaluation processes.

Different parallel workshops such as: Science system evaluations, Advancing research policy and Programme evaluation practice (science Europe's policy contributions), Societal Impact of Agricultural Research, RTI Agency evaluation based policy learning and challenges. As for the latter workshop, evaluation methods applied by the Finnish TEKES and a comparison of 12 EU agencies were presented by Peter Biegelbauer (Austrian Institute of Technology)  but the main final message is that there are no best practices to underline when it comes to evaluation systems set up by innovation funding agencies. The fact is that current frameworks in which agencies act lead them to respond to common challenges by finding different solutions.
In the afternoon, among other parallel sessions, the debate focused on the involvement of stakeholders in the evaluation process and generally in the policy making system. The main point is that getting stakeholders engagement improve the probability of succes of policies, but how to involve them? Some ideas were put forward by Morgane Fritz from the Karl Franzens University of Graz. For instance: brainstorming focus groups, semi structured interviews, etc. The most important thing is to guarantee precise information to create trust between parties from the start. Other sessions in teh afternoon have tackled: responsible research and innovation, participation in EU programmes, approaches in the innovation taxonomy, designs and assessment, EU challenges and large policy initiatives, evaluation of mission oriented research. The first day ended with another panel discussion on how EU RTI evaluation challenges have changed and are changing.

The second day was opened by Pierre-Benoit Joly, from the French National institute of Agronomic Research, who explained how to bridge theory and practice with reference to the challenges of research impact assessment for addressing societal challenges. The key note was followed by a panel discussion about radical ways to select risky research  and create new programmes.
Several parallel workshops have followed ranging from individual and career trajectories, concepts and approaches towards openess, new tools and sorces for new evaluatio approaches, evaluation of innovation regulations, programmes and instruments.

Danube-INCO.NET  - in cooperation with the JRC (also a project partner) - hosted two events dealing with smart specialisation on this day. The afternoon saw also the launch of the SIPER evaluation interactive STI  evaluation database.

OPEN EVALUATION 2016 turned out to be an intriguing and inspiring event. This thanks to the large support by the STI evaluation community in Austria and abroad as well as from Science Europe.

The official conference booklet, containing all information, abstracts, speakers and other useful details, can be downloaded here. Presentations will be published on this page as soon as they will be officially available.

Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Desiree Pecarz on December 1, 2016
Modified on December 1, 2016