This is how the assessment works – a review of the process

October 19 was the application deadline for the call for proposals to form programmes and program offices within Impact Innovation. Formas, the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova are working intensively on planning a solid assessment process based on the criterias in the call for proposals.

We have great respect for the fact that Impact Innovation is a new type of effort with a new structure and way of working, for everyone including us from the authorities. The assessment is more complex compared to other applications for research and innovation projects. Therefore, we spend a lot of time and resources planning a solid assessment process. It must be well anchored and discussed from all sides.

Anders Holmgren, responsible for the call at Vinnova

The team responsible for the call of proposals from the Swedish Energy Agency, Formas and Vinnova answers general questions about how the assessment process works:

What happens after the call for proposals closes on October 19?

After October 19, the applications that have been received and that meet the formal requirements will be handed over to specially appointed evaluators. At least five external evaluators will assess each application.

Who will assess the applications?

In this process, mostly international evaluators will be hired. Since the Impact Innovation programs are expected to cover many areas, and each programme needs to involve a large number of actors in society, it is more difficult to find national evaluators who do not find themselves in a conflict of interests.

In the assessment panel, there will be relevant area expertise within both system innovation and mission-oriented work and within the three challenge areas that Impact Innovation covers:

– Production, consumption and value chains within planetary boundaries
– Good and equal health
– Well-functioning and attractive communities

We also want a breadth of affiliation among the evaluators – academia, business, research institutes and civil society. All evaluators will receive training about Impact Innovation and the criteria and term that have been set. Those who are not experts in system innovation and mission-oriented work will also be trained in this. Experts from the responsible authorities will assist the evaluators with necessary information about, for example, Swedish conditions.

How does the assessment process work?

The process takes place in several steps:

  • The evaluators read the applications individually and make their own assessment, then they gather for a joint discussion. The individual assessment and discussion should lead to a recommendation from the evaluators about which applications go forward and which do not, based on how well the applications meet the assessment criteria and how big the competition is.
  • In step two, the evaluators must once again make an individual assessment of the applications that remain in the process and gather again for a joint discussion. This step results in a new recommendation on which applications should proceed to the third step where we plan to have an interview phase.
  • The interviews that the evaluators do with the applicants take place in a standardized form and their purpose is to get clarifications.
  • The evaluators then gather to agree on a joint recommendation to the authorities about which applications should be selected to receive program funding.
  • The authorities responsible make the decisions together based on the recommendation from the evaluators.
    Decisions on who has been granted funding are planned to be made no later than February 29, 2024, and the program offices should be able to start as early as March 2024.

What is the basis for assessments and decisions?

The criteria in the call for proposals are primarily the basis for assessments and decisions. The authorities may make a selection based on a portfolio perspective, i.e. based on the areas the applications cover and the missions selected. Such a selection is only made among the applications that the evaluators consider to be of sufficiently high quality. The aim is to maximize the total adaptability of the entire investment through, among other things, a broad representation of missions, actors from different sectors and industries as well as actor types, geographical distribution, etcetera.

The sum of the programmes granted must have great potential to accelerate sustainable transformation for global competitiveness and societal benefit.

Link to the call for proposals: Establishment of programme within Impact innovation: funding of programme office

How do you take into account that the call for proposals is unusually extensive and has a new structure?

One part is that the evaluators are seen several times with time for reflection in between. We see that these are complex applications and it is a new type of venture for us. We do not have the ready answer to the very best approach, but we believe that more time for reflection and more opportunities for the evaluators to discuss will facilitate the process.

We will also have extensive training for the evaluators about the purpose of Impact Innovation. Additionaly we mainly have international evaluators to avoid conflict of interest and they have both area expertise and expertise on system innovation and mission work.

Do you have any questions about the process?

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