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Societal impact as Cost-Benefit Analysis: Comparative analysis of two research infrastructures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation, ICE/ITMC 2019
ISBN (Electronic)9781728134017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation - Valbonne Sophia-Antipolis, France
Duration: 17 Jun 201919 Jun 2019


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation
CityValbonne Sophia-Antipolis


The impact of basic science projects is more difficult to assess than that of science projects, which lead to direct applications. Especially, the benefits of fundamental science projects are less obvious and indirect than applied science (e.g. pharmaceutical or IT). Pure scientific quality does not tell anything about the societal and economical value of the project. Public resources used for funding the growing scientific research face scarcity, and choosing where to distribute the limited resources is difficult without tools to assess the impacts. Politicians and other decision makers are struggling to evaluate the benefits of supporting science projects. Therefore, it is essential to find methods to fairly measure the impacts of science projects into the surrounding society. One way of assessing societal impact is Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). This contribution explores CBA as a tool for societal impact assessment by reviewing and comparing two research infrastructures' assessments.