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Under Priority Axis 1, €78.7m was invested in eight projects to increase Research & Innovation capacity across two target sectors, ‘Health & Life Sciences’ and ‘Renewable Energy’. It also aimed to increase the number and capacity of SMEs and micro-businesses engaged in cross-border Research & Innovation activity to develop new products, processes, and tradeable services.
Based on figures at the time of the evaluation and subject to verification.
Cogent Management Consulting LLP was commissioned to undertake a longitudinal impact evaluation to assess the effectiveness and impact of the investment, informing the remainder of the Programme and future programming periods, including PEACEPLUS.
Across three cycles of research, the Evaluation Team conducted desk-based research – analysing performance monitoring data, policy documents – and engaged with project stakeholders. The evaluation assessed the impact of the interventions at three stages of implementation, reporting in 2019, 2020 and 2022. All three reports and executive summaries can be accessed below.
The final impact evaluation in 2022 considers did the projects achieve what they set out to achieve and the difference this has made. The report outlines the challenges faced by the projects including the effects of COVID-19 that affected project delivery as well as potential legacy impacts and best practice and learning. Recommendations for future projects and evaluations are also made.
"The projects have contributed to its aim to encourage investment in sectors that offer the most growth potential, whilst building on existing strengths, and helping the region to become more competitive in a global marketplace. They have also successfully helped tackle two key weaknesses in the Programme region’s competitiveness, namely low levels of expenditure on research, development and innovation, and an under-representation of higher value-added sectors and innovation active SMEs." Evaluation Team, Cogent Management Consulting