Menu
Back close X
SFI
subscribe to SFI online award application

Types of Impact

Economic Impacts 

Impacts where the beneficiaries may include businesses, either new or established, or other organisations which undertake activity that creates jobs and revenue. Beneficiaries may also include graduates, employees, trained scientists and the general public.
The following are examples of Economic Impacts

  • A new business sector or activity has been created or expanded through new or improved products/services or a significantly improved technology or process
  • A spinout or start-up has been created around a new product, service or licence
  • Research has attracted and nurtured developing businesses, for example, through the licensing of technologies.
  • Industry or other organisations or charitable foundations have invested in their own research and development through research collaboration.
  • Performance has been improved, or new or changed technologies or processes have been adopted, in companies or other organisations through highly skilled people having taken up specialist roles that draw on their research, or through the provision of consultancy or training that draws on their research.
  • Employment has been created or increased through the production of a highly educated and relevant workforce in demand by industry and academia.

Societal Impacts

Impacts where the beneficiaries may include individuals, groups of individuals, organisations or communities whose quality of life, knowledge, behaviours, creative practices or other activity have been influenced positively.
The following are examples of Societal Impacts

  • Public debate has been stimulated or informed by research. 
  • Public interest and engagement in science, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has been stimulated, for example, through the enhancement of STEM related education in schools and the increased number of children taking up STEM subjects at 3rd level
  • The awareness, attitudes, education and understanding of the public have been enhanced by engaging them with research activities
  • The work of an NGO, charitable or other organisation, including international agencies or institutions, has been enhanced by the research, for example through improved access to healthcare or improved water quality
  • Quality of life has been improved through improved access to healthcare.
  • Research has contributed to community development and regeneration
  • Research supports creativity and increases appreciation and/or design of cultural services, for example, museums, galleries, libraries, through improving cultural awareness or improving the design and accessibility of public facilities thereby having a positive impact on cultural life of population and/or national identity.
  • Mitigation of risks to public health, for example, through preventative measures for communicable and non-communicable diseases

International Engagement Impacts

Impacts where the beneficiaries include Irish based research scientists who are striving to improve their international reputation and international scientists who wish to relocate their research groups to Ireland. Irish businesses and Irish headquarters of MNCs may also benefit from increased international engagement.

The following are examples of International Engagement Impacts 

  • Significant contribution to global challenges, for example in the areas of health, the environment and poverty reduction
  • Contribution to international relations and the international profile and reputation of Ireland
  • Attraction of international scientists and talented people
  • Leveraging of international funding through industrial and collaborative research
  • New connections to international expertise have been developed providing access to new markets and state-of-the art knowledge


Policy & Public Service Impacts

Impacts where the beneficiaries may include government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), charities and public sector organisations and society, either as a whole or groups of individuals in society. Impact can occur top-down through policy changes and bottom up, through changing behaviours at the delivery level.
The following are examples of Policy & Public Service Impacts

  • Implementation, revision or verification of policy to improve efficiency, efficacy and responsiveness of public services and / or Government regulation 
  • Policy decisions or changes to legislation, regulations or guidelines have been informed by research evidence
  • Changes to education or the school curriculum have been informed by research.
  • Improvements in best practice of those delivering public services, have been made
  • Risks to national security have been reduced 
  • Improvements in risk management in public services/public sector

 Health and Wellbeing Impacts

Impacts where the beneficiaries may include individuals (including groups of individuals) whose health outcomes have been improved or whose quality of life has been enhanced (or potential harm mitigated) through the application of enhanced healthcare for individuals or public health activities
The following are examples of Health and Wellbeing Impacts

  • Patient health outcomes have improved through, for example, the availability of new drug, treatment or therapy, diagnostic or medical technology, improvements to patient care practices or processes, or improvements to clinical or healthcare guidelines.
  • Public mental and social health and well-being has improved.
  • Increased efficiency of delivery of public health services.
  • Decisions by a health service or regulatory authority have been informed by research.
  • Quality of life in a developed or developing country has been improved by new products or processes through, for example, improved water quality or access to healthcare.
  • Animal health and welfare has been enhanced by research.
  • Reduction in cost for treatment for an equivalent outcome through a new drug, device or improved diagnostics 
  • Mitigation of risks to public health, for example, through preventative measures for communicable and non-communicable diseases
    • Disease prevention or markers of health have been enhanced by research
    • Public awareness of a health risk or benefit has been raised
    • Improved nutrition and food security


Environmental Impacts

Impacts where the key beneficiaries are the natural and built environment with its ecosystem services, together with societies, individuals or groups of individuals who benefit as a result.
The following are examples of Environmental Impacts

  • Debate on the environment, environmental policy decisions or planning decisions have been stimulated or informed by research and research outputs
  • The management or conservation of natural resources, including issues around global competition for energy, water and food resources, has been influenced or improved.
  • The management of an environmental risk of hazard has been improved (e.g. risk to stakeholders/community has been decreased and or resilience of community has been increased)
  • The operations of a business or public service have resulted in the meeting of relevant environmental objectives
  • New/improved technology or process has led to direct reduction in pollution and/or reduction of impact of pollutants on ecosystems and humans
  • Improvement in sustainable use of resources and reduced overall consumption of constrained resources
  • The management of natural resources, including issues around global competition for energy, water and food resources, has been improved.
  • Understanding of health risks to livestock and disease risks to crops have improved, enabling improved health and increased security in food production.
  • In the built environment, infrastructure or housing quality and/or longevity have been increased.

Professional Services Impacts

Impacts where beneficiaries may include organisations or individuals involved in the development of and delivery of professional service
The following are examples of Professional Service Impacts

  • Changes to professional standards, guidelines or training have been informed by research.
  • Practitioners/professionals/lawyers have used research findings to improve the standard of their working practices
  • The quality or efficiency or productivity of a professional service has improved.
  • Professional bodies and learned societies have used research to define best practice.
  • Practices have changed, or new or improved processes have been adopted, in companies or other organisations, through the provision of training or consultancy.
  • Forensic methods/technologies have been improved as a result of research

Human Capacity Impacts

Impacts where beneficiaries cover the entire population, primary school students studying STEM subjects, the general workforce including science teachers, health professionals, policy makers, business leaders in SMEs and MNCs and the general public
The following are examples of Human Capacity Impacts

  • The production of a highly educated and relevant workforce in demand by industry and academia 
  • Increased productivity of the workforce through improvements in health and general work environment 
  • Improved scientific and technical skills of current and future workforce 
  • Increased uptake of STEM subjects at secondary and University level
  • Public interest, discussion and engagement in science, engineering and mathematics has been stimulated 
  • Attraction of international scientists and talented people to Ireland, 
  • Performance has been improved, or new or changed technologies or processes have been adopted, in companies or other organisations through the employment of highly skilled people having taken up specialist roles that draw on their research, or through the provision of consultancy or training that draws on their research
  • Increased leveraged funding though programmes such as Horizon 2020 due to the increased number and level of highly skilled researchers in Ireland