Independent Viewpoints on Assessing Economic Impacts

9:50 AM - 11:15 AM

Room E

Economic analysis is a valuable tool to assess the contribution of R&D to society. In this session, we will hear from researchers who evaluate the economic impacts of research for federal agencies. This session will address challenges and strategies for capturing economic impact for diverse agency missions and products, from technology maturation to scientific collections.


Keith Crane,

Science and Technology Policy Institute:

will present on an economic study of scientific collections. He will focus on the scene setting, collecting data to estimate costs, and an initial assessment of the values.

[presenter materials]

Alan O'Connor,


will talk about and give examples of the quantification of returns on scientific investments from a stakeholder standpoint. He will address the subject primarily from an a priori perspective in the form of an opportunity assessment.

[presenter materials]

David Schindel,


will remark on that economic study of scientific collections. His emphasis will be on the study process itself encompassing the information gathered, evidence-based decision making, methods for determining a return on investment, and other benefits

[presenter materials]

Michael Wallner,


will discuss the 12 national economic impact studies TechLink has conducted for the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Cancer Institute.  He will broadly discuss TechLink’s methodological approaches, successes and challenges, societal impacts, and evidence-based decision making.

[presenter materials]

Kory Hallett,


[presenter materials]

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ideas for dealing with the apparent conflict between evidence-based decision making and the Paperwork Reduction Act that limits feedback?
  • What are some useful ways to communicate benefits that can’t readily be quantified?
  • What are some effective methods and processes for releasing final results in a timely manner?
  • What are best practices for gathering data?
  • What are best practices for communicating the results of an assessment? I.e., For obtaining agency clearance? For presenting the evaluation in a digestible manner? For identifying and reaching the target audience?