Impact at KTH
The purpose of KTH's work with impact is to describe and communicate the impact the institute has on its surrounding society through research, education, and cooperation.
What is impact?
The term impact can be defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond academia. Impact can also mean an effect on, change or benefit to the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice or process, or an understanding of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation, or individuals in any geographic location.
The work with impact aims to contribute to inspiration, systematics and concrete thinking to strengthen, describe and demonstrate the impact KTH has on society. Several external factors push impact higher up on the agenda, for example:
- Increased demands regarding including impact in research applications.
- Coming requirements to display one's impact when applying for academic positions.
- Higher demands (globally) to demonstrate the societal impact of research and education.
- Swedish politics wants to see what good tax-funded grants do.
There are several benefits for KTH to work with impact, for example:
- Be perceived as a leading party nationally within impact.
- Be competitive when applying for research funds (where the impact has a central role).
- Increase the public and private sector engagement in our programmes and courses.
- Create internal transparency and thereby increase the possibilities of collaboration.
- Encourage multidisciplinary cooperation in research and education.
- Increase the appeal for KTH's students and employees.
KTH has been working with impact as a term since 2012. That same year, KTH performed the research evaluation RAE2012, in which sections on impact and engagement were included. KTH has recently concluded another evaluation (RAE2021) in which impact played a significant and vital part.
Since 2013, several initiatives have been to increase knowledge and systematics to display KTH's effects on society. In 2015, KTH instated the role of impact leader. The impact leaders coordinate the local work with impact at their respective schools.
The effort was financially supported by Vinnova between 2013 to 2017 and afterward by KTH. Impact is now an integrated part of KTH's operations.
President's decision on the plan for the development of KTH's work with societal impact (in Swedish) (pdf 919 kB)
KTH's work with impact is coordinated by Johan Blaus:
Each of KTH's five schools has at least one impact leader. The impact leader is responsible for the strategic work at his or her school. Each school also have at least one school communicator connected to the area.