RI-PATHS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 777563

Project Summary

The aim of the RI-PATHS project is to develop a framework describing the socio-economic impact of research infrastructures (RIs) and their related financial investments. The model will be developed in a modular manner adapting it to a broad range of scientific domains and types of RIs. The project outcomes are expected to contribute to a common approach at international level and facilitate investments in research infrastructures by funding agencies and other stakeholders. The project activities will take into account the results from the Working Group of Socio-Economic Impact of Research Infrastructures established by the OECD Global Science Forum and involve key international players in this domain.

The specific objectives are:

  • Take stock of the existing approaches for impact assessment of research infrastructures and map the current and future data gathering needs of key stakeholder groups
  • Employing systems thinking approach develop a modular impact assessment (IA) framework that represents all major impact pathways of RIs
  • Operationalise the IA model by defining a set of impact indicators, providing guidance on monitoring and evaluation approaches and testing the feasibility of the framework with pilot RIs.

Project Consortium and Stakeholders


RI-PATHS is a collaborative project built by 8 entities, coming from 7 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom):

  • European Future Innovation System (EFIS) (coordinating)
  • Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL)
  • European Science Foundation (ESF)
  • Fraunhofer ISI
  • European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
  • ALBA
  • DESY


The targeted stakeholders include RI managers, policy makers and funders.

Role of ESF Science Connect

The ESF will bring its’ network of contacts and pan-European coverage to bear on the project and at the same time add additional value to the MERIL platform by adding in an additional module that will further strengthen the role of MERIL as a one-stop shop for information on European research infrastructures. ESF staff will be involved at all stages of the project, and will lead during WP4 on the piloting and testing of the IA model and the integration of the IA model into the MERIL advanced data module. ESF will also play a critical role in communicating and disseminating the work of the project to the ESF community and the RIs included in the MERIL portal.

Timeline & Funding

This is a 2.5-year project, starting on 1 January 2018. The total funding received from EC is 1.5M euros.

Project website