The impact assessments of the Centres of Excellence whose term concluded in 2019 highlighted an objective of actively making science and research easier to understand.
Based on their impact stories, the CoEs found the Centre of Excellence Programme to be a very important funding instrument that provides a long-term opportunity for effective research.
“Centre of Excellence funding makes it possible to form long-term research groups, to have more sustained cooperation between multidisciplinary research groups and to develop innovative approaches in research. As a source of funding, it also supports more experimental and risky research initiatives for solving problems.”
Enabling academic freedom was considered an important feature of CoE funding: “Our research is good use of taxpayer money, and we want to share our findings with the people who are paying for the research, i.e., the taxpayers.”
The impact stories stated that, depending on the field of science and the tasks of the research organisation, scientific research may have various impacts. Societal expectations of the impact of science also vary from one field of research to another.
“With the knowledge and competence we get from research, we can do things like increase welfare by promoting economic activity, facilitate or improve decision-making with information that supports it, build competence for the needs of business and industry, or support people’s mental growth and education. In the long term, scientific research will also reform societal goals and our concepts of how to promote them.”