Based on the CoEs’ self-assessments, impact through research can be achieved with research results, co-development and experts. The impact stories highlighted the significance of systematic planning and implementation of societal interaction in research. At the same time, verifying impact involved some difficulties:
“It can be difficult to measure and document impact if you are aiming for a deeper understanding of the world through research data. For example, the research in some fields creates an impact by diving into the historical aspect of topical questions, thereby helping us to understand the roots and causes of the issues of today. Research results may not always have a direct link to acute societal decision-making or discussion.”
The impact stories revealed that an essential aspect of impact is that its time frame varies by case and field of research: impact is not always generated by individual research results; sometimes it is a result of persistent work conducted over years and decades.