Big DATA approaches FOR improved monitoring of research and innovation performance and assessment of the societal IMPACT in the Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing Societal Challenge (Data4Impact)

Data4Impact focuses on establishing new methodologies for assessing the performance and impact of research and innovation, and the ways in which public policies and funding can influence these. Thus, the project aims to improve the monitoring of research and innovation performance through a comprehensive analytical framework and a set of novel indicators. The development of these indicators will lead to a more robust assessment of the societal benefits generated by public funding. Following a pragmatic approach that is based on available/accessible data, Data4Impact will target the Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing societal challenge at national and EU levels.

In this context, Fraunhofer ISI is responsible for developing a conceptual framework based on a comprehensive literature review and the appraisal of existing monitoring and impact assessment approaches. This conceptual framework – including a definition of impact as such as well as an identification of relevant roles and processes – provides a guiding structure for the entire project. Furthermore, Fraunhofer ISI operationalises the framework and suggests a first set of possible indicators which are developed further in collaboration with other project partners.

  1. Landscaping and overview of existing monitoring and impact assessment indicators & systems
  2. Development of methodology for Data4Impact indicators
  3. Further development and finalisation of the methodology in collaboration with other partners
  4. Development and validation of new indicators

Literature review, comparative analysis of (quantitative) impact assessment methodologies, systematic conceptualisation of insights, operationalisation and indicators, statistical validation of new developed indicators

The new developed conceptual framework emphasises crucial aspects of societal impact of research and innovation such as temporality, multicausality, and multifacetedness. It follows a linear analytical structure of innovation process focusing inputs-throughputs-outputs-impacts. Impacts are assessed in three broad dimensions: academic impact, economic impact, and societal impact. Societal impact includes multiple fields as cultural impacts, socio economic impact, health impacts, etc.


1.11.2017 – 31.10.2019


European Commission


  • Public Policy and Management Institute (PPMI)
  • ATHENA Research and Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies (ARC)
  • Qualia Technologies of Understanding SA
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
  • University of Boras