Socioeconomic impact of research in Denmark
Economic research on the socioeconomic impact of research is sparse, especially in Denmark. Research-based knowledge on how sustained, long-term investment in research affects employment, welfare and well-being is lacking. In addition, the priorities for using public funds have been tightened, which has affected the public funding of public research. Better understanding of and research on the socioeconomic impact of research are therefore essential.
The socioeconomic impact of research is a field with numerous opportunities for new knowledge, including areas requiring more knowledge and new projects and understanding the overall effects of research and innovation systems. In Denmark, the input side (funding for independent research) has been in focus instead of the output side (absorbing knowledge and converting it into innovation and new technologies). One goal of this programme is therefore to focus on how numerous initiatives interact and how effectively the research and innovation system supports the transformation of knowledge into value (the public–private spillover effect).
The objectives are to strengthen research on the socioeconomic impact of research in Denmark and to accelerate the development of new empirical models and methods to analyse the impact of research. A further objective is to build a platform for the economics of research in Denmark with an international outlook. The aim is to strengthen and develop knowledge about how the quantity of investment in public research and the composition of the research and innovation initiatives influence 1) the transformation of knowledge into new technologies and innovation and 2) how efficiently knowledge and technology are used and create value for society. The programme seeks to explore a wide range of theoretical and empirical research topics within microeconomics and macroeconomics such as:
- how research-based technological development and innovation in the public sector contributes to economic growth and prosperity and facilitates new inventions and specific solutions for major societal challenges;
- how various systems for funding research contribute to and influence public and private research and thereby generate socioeconomic effects;
- to what extent various scientific fields influence socioeconomic development;
- the many possible ways research and innovation systems can influence research behaviour, including developing companies;
- developing economic models that incorporate how individuals and companies change their behaviour when the level of investment in research and innovation changes;
- analysing the economic effects of knowledge-sharing and knowledge dissemination, including the socioeconomic impact of research and development collaboration between universities and companies as well as corporate collaboration in innovative networks and clusters with research and education institutions and the public sector;
- the structure and significance of the research sector in Denmark’s economy, including the importance of socioeconomic development of historical development in the research and technology sector and possible future scenarios for this sector; and
- analysing the socioeconomic impact of the supply of researchers and students from other countries to Denmark.
Other themes may also be supported if they meet and reflect the purpose of the programme. The research approach may be interdisciplinary and involve international collaboration.
An individual research project may include a small research group under the leadership of a main applicant with outstanding expertise. The main applicant must be based at a public or not-for-profit institution in Denmark that conducts research and will host the project.
Main applicants should be established economics researchers, have documented experience in research leadership and be employed at a university or other not-for-profit knowledge institution in Denmark at which the project will be based. If the Foundation awards the applicant a grant, the main applicant will be responsible for the project and for the scientific and financial reporting to the Foundation.
The application may include scientific co-applicants, including from other scientific disciplines, who contribute actively to the project and who will share the grant. To do so, they must also be affiliated with a university or other not-for-profit knowledge institution in Denmark or elsewhere.
The call for applications urges main applicants to build international collaborations with the people who have the strongest competencies for the research project, including affiliating an international steering group that provides input on the research.
Applicants may apply for up to DKK 10 million over a 4-year project period. The Foundation anticipates awarding grants for up to three 4-year projects of DKK 10 million each.
Funding may cover:
- salaries, excluding the salaries of the lead applicant or co-applicant who have fixed employment
- direct operating costs, including materials, utilities and services
- purchasing equipment, with equipment costing more than DKK 100,000 being located at the host institution during and after the project period
- the costs of project-related meetings, workshops, seminars and exchanges that will strengthen the collaboration between the partners in the programme
- travel costs for participating in project-related conferences
- the costs of publishing scientific articles arising from the project
Applications must be written in English and submitted using the Foundation’s web-based application system. Applications must include a brief summary of about half a page together with a detailed project description of up to 20,000 characters including spaces.
Selected leading applicants will be invited to an interview at the Foundation before the international assessment panel selects the research projects to be awarded a grant.
Applicants are requested to read the application guidelines thoroughly before applying.