In the fulfilment of its dual mission of promoting scientific and technological advances and promoting technology-based innovation through the transfer of new knowledge and technologies to the industry, services and public administration, INESC TEC generates a set of impacts with relevant contributions to the improvement of the country’s economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The impact on the scientific community can be measured by indicators such as the number of publications, the size of its audience or the number of citations. Naturally, the publication of scientific results by the community allows the fastest advance of science and technology at a global level.
The incorporation of new knowledge and technology in the creation of new products and services, which is generally carried out in partnership with technology-based companies, leads to the creation of economic value and employment. These companies that assume the commercialisation of INESC TEC’s results have a multiplier role of the impact, since they disseminate these results to a high number of users towards the optimal enhancement of the generated knowledge. These can be existing companies with an established market presence or startups created for this purpose, particularly in emerging areas.
The adoption of these solutions by national or international organisations leads to the improvement of processes, with an impact on cost reduction and response times or on the improvement of the quality of products and services, resulting in the improvement of the competitiveness of these organisations with an impact on the increase of the value generated and also on employment. The participation of Technological Centres, Clusters or business associations in these projects is crucial for the speed-up of the dissemination of these new technologies and for achieving the previously identified impacts.
From a more specific perspective, it is important to mention the impact of several projects in critical areas for our society such as health, energy, forest fires or the environment. In a more comprehensive perspective, the role of INESC TEC in the development of the innovation system of the region is no less important, with the participation in Clusters, collaborations with other research entities and companies and also with the promotion of initiatives such as CoLABs or Digital Innovation Hubs.
Finally, it should also be highlighted that the implementation of R&D projects has contributed to the training of highly qualified professionals who will certainly achieve more and better results at INESC TEC or at the organisations where they will work in the future.
Some of the identified impacts are difficult to measure because they are indirect and because they occur in INESC TEC’s environment, in partner entities or clients and because they relate to and reinforce each other. However, it is essential to design, manage and implement R&D projects with a focus on the results while seeking to maximise their impact, which makes it possible to justify public investments in science and technology before the society and to contribute to the future sustainability of the institute.
At this special time of year, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Luís Carneiro, Member of the Executive Board