Impact Science, a division of Cactus Communications that provides end-to-end support for the research impact life cycle, has partnered with Vertigo Ventures (VV), a UK-based company that offers innovative technology solutions for impact measurement, to provide research institutions with services and systematic support for more efficient and productive impact management.
Substantial annual funding to universities in the UK depends on their ability to demonstrate the impact of their research outside academia, and there is a growing impact agenda in other countries. While many institutions have improved how they manage impact activities thanks to their experience of navigating through the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), impact managers continue to face challenges in improving the strategy and implementation of impact activities. “This year we did a survey to understand the evolution of impact support in UK universities and from our discussions with impact managers, we found that many institutions face challenges because of the lack of manpower, time, and resources and seek professional support to fill these gaps,” said Dr Iain Coleman, Research Engagement Manager, Impact Science.
Both VV and Impact Science offer the expertise that can address the challenges faced by impact managers. VV specializes in consultancy, training, and technology solutions to identify, capture, and report impact and solve skill and workflow management challenges in organizations. VV-Impact Tracker, their flagship software product, is used by many leading universities to measure impact efficiently. Impact Science, on the other hand, provides tailor-made consultancy support throughout the research project’s impact life cycle: creating a pathway to impact, communicating research outcomes, capturing evidence of impact, engaging with beneficiaries, and writing and editing impact case studies. An impact partner works closely with each client to provide end-to-end support.
“The collaboration between VV and Impact Science will produce a rich, multi-layered solution to the impact managers’ complex needs,” said Laura Tucker, founder, and CEO of VV. “In the last ten years since VV was founded in 2009, we have worked closely with leading institutions to build their internal capability for impact reporting, particularly to capture high-quality impact data. Today, our customers are under increasing pressure to demonstrate what difference they are making, beyond academia, in order to access funding from government and charitable funders. Impact Science’s expertise in impact life cycle management and their extensive knowledge of research subject areas will help us provide our customers with in-depth support.”
Dr. Coleman says, “Impact support has grown and evolved since the days of REF 2014 when case studies were being written retrospectively on an ad hoc basis. Today, universities and researchers are increasingly embedding impact as an essential part of their research projects and are systematically tracking the evidence of their impact as we move towards REF 2021. VV-Impact Tracker and their other rich offerings will certainly help customers to enhance their organizational intelligence and efficiency for impact and to embed impact in the academic culture in the long term. We are excited to be working with Vertigo Ventures as the first of our strategic partners and are keen to build on it to meet the growing need for research impact support in the UK and beyond.”