Post-event report : IRT Nanoelec conference: The socioeconomic impacts of IRT Nanoelec are already significant

The last IRT Nanoelec conference of 2017 brought in around 60 participants who came to learn about the findings of the IRT Nanoelec socioeconomic impact assessment. The event provided an opportunity to review the socioeconomic impact studies completed since IRT Nanoelec’s inception.

IRT Nanoelec Associate Director Bruno Ragué gave a presentation on the assessment and its various contributors.

Measuring IRT Nanoelec’s economic impact has been a top priority since the organization opened its doors in 2012. IRT Nanoelec’s administrators feel that measuring economic impacts is crucial to knowing where we stand and to improving performance.

According to Research Director Mireille Matt and Grenoble-Alpes University Economics Professor Nadine Massard, measuring the economic impacts of public policies to support innovation and technology transfer is becoming a major concern of policymakers. It is also a long-standing academic research field that has principles and proven methods of investigation that are accepted by many elected officials. Nevertheless, socioeconomic impact assessments are complex, due in part to challenges obtaining data from economic stakeholders.

During his presentation, Ragué pointed out that IRT Nanoelec administrators opted to bring in independent experts when the assessment process kicked off in 2013. An overall assessment was completed in 2015. The results presented at the conference included a review of the work done in 2017, including studies by Massard and Matt, as well as studies conducted in conjunction with business school Grenoble Ecole de Management and EuroLIO (under the aegis of the Société Française d’Evaluation, a nonprofit group that evaluates the impacts of public policies).

Matt explained that, according to the 21 interviews conducted with decision makers at IRT Nanoelec partner companies, IRT Nanoelec serves as a semi-open, collaborative R&D resource; a trusted forum where diverse stakeholders can come together; and a tool for the development of breakthrough technologies. Massard highlighted the performance of participating companies before and after completing Easytech projects with IRT Nanoelec—the “before-and-after” pictures varied substantially according to the companies’ sizes. An additional analysis of these companies’ data revealed significant positive impacts on equity and profits. One interpretation is that companies participating in projects supported by IRT Nanoelec boast improved financial health and are in a better position to raise capital. These findings still need to be confirmed by further investigations given the relatively small number of actionable observations completed to date.

For SMBs supported by IRT Nanoelec to create value, they must commercialize new products or services. A recently-published booklet (Nanoelec : Accélérateur d’innovation pour les PME) shows how IRT Nanoelec can help SMBs innovate by presenting 50 products and services developed as a result of projects with IRT Nanoelec and testimonials from the heads of participating companies. An updated version is planned for 2019.

Download all of the presentations here: Compilation des présentationsRV Nanoelec Impact