On 1st March 2018, EARTO launched its new “Economic Footprint Study: Impact of 9 European RTOs in 2015-2016” (Full Report & Summary Brochure) at an event which welcomed some 100 participants, mainly from EU Institutions. In addition to a presentation of the study by IDEA Consult, speakers from RTOs, the European Commission, the OECD and others entered into a dynamic discussion about the “Impact of Research & Innovation”, including a panel debate on the “Future framework at EU level to evaluate RD&I Impact”.
The study, commissioned to IDEA Consult, highlights the economic footprint of RTOs based on data collected from 9 RTOs, representing 1/3 of EARTO members in terms of employees and turnover: AIT (Austria), CEA (France), DTI (Denmark), Fraunhofer (Germany), imec (Belgium), SINTEF (Norway), Tecnalia (Spain), TNO (Netherlands) and VTT (Finland).
The main findings of the study are that, in 2016, the aggregated effects of the core-activities as well as activities generated through the collaborative contracts and the spin-offs of these 9 RTOs, resulted in:
The study also showed that for each 1 job created in those RTOs, 4 jobs were created elsewhere in the European economy in 2016 and for each €1 invested in these RTOs in the form of basic grants, €3 returns flew back to governments.
The results of this economic footprint study clearly demonstrate RTOs’ crucial role in the European R&I ecosystem. And it is important to note that these results are only a lower boundary of the full impact of RTOs, which does not take into account the technological and social value of the research and technology they produce.
Consequently, European R&I policy makers should clearly define policies aiming at further utilising and enhancing RTOs’ capabilities as well as at boosting joint investments in their key technological infrastructures. RTOs’ impact is clear and R&I policies should aim at leveraging such impact to boost jobs and growth creation in Europe. EARTO members will continue their efforts to further develop clearer picture and understanding of RTOs’ impact on growth and jobs’ creation in Europe in collaboration with the OECD, the EU and national and regional policy-makers.