FIS029: Evaluation of effectiveness of FIS research

FIS029 - Evaluation of effectiveness of FIS research

Contractor: Anderson Solutions

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Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS) was established in 2014, and since then it has commissioned and delivered 15 research projects with peer-reviewed reports, together with two Scottish Fishing Conferences. It is currently running several small collaborative projects, and is about to advertise five more substantial research projects. Project spend on completed work has been over £1.2 million, and current and new projects will have an additional value of almost £500,000. That the published research is scientifically valid is assured by the peer-review process. However, its use as evidence to make a policy or management or regulatory change may take some extended time period to manifest. The same would be true of research that leads to technical or operational innovations, that might eventually feed through to industry operatives.


It is also relevant to consider that one piece of high-quality FIS research could eventually be just one in a series of building blocks of evidence / knowledge that lead to a material change in the sector, with the other blocks being delivered by other organisations, on different time-spans.


Notwithstanding the understanding of ‘lead time’ and other work to deliver impacts of research, the question of what impact FIS research has had – or is likely to have - within the industry and its stakeholders, regulators and managers remains largely unanswered at the present time.


FIS now requires an independent and external assessment of the actual or future-potential practical impact of its research, taking into account lead time and other complementary research or activity.


As an overarching objective, FIS required research that would deliver an assessment of how its research – published and currently ongoing – will be used to achieve a specific change within the sector. On a project-by-project basis:

  1. Identify which type of organisation would be the beneficial recipient of the evidence delivered by the research
  2. Identify what type of change might occur as a result of the new evidence delivered by the FIS research
  3. Identify whether this process could occur because of the FIS research alone or whether others must also contribute additional evidence or innovation
  4. In the event of 3 above being relevant, identify who the other participants would be, and the nature of their contribution to the overall move towards change
  5. Identify likely timelines for changes to be manifested and visible within the sector – either for stand-alone FIS research or for multi-input initiatives
  6. Conclude by mapping the environment for change-capable recipients of FIS research in the future, and make recommendations for the nature of future FIS research that will prove effective in driving change and innovation.