How do large-scale science facilities impact science and technology, society and the economy?

Technopolis Group has measured Diamond Light Source’s scientific, technological, societal and economic benefits. The study has contributed to the available evidence base and will be serving as an input to future funding requests. It also provided recommendations for future monitoring and evaluation efforts.

Diamond is an independent not for profit company. Its primary goal is to generate essential data/information for industry and academia to help address global challenges. Whilst advancing knowledge in many scientific areas, the resulting cutting-edge science also provides significant economic impact, as the study has shown. Diamond is a leading centre for synchrotron science, and the study estimates a cumulative monetised impact of at least £1.8 billion from the UK’s synchrotron.

Diamond is clearly a critical piece of the UK’s national infrastructure, providing cutting-edge imaging and testing capabilities for a wide variety of fields and sectors. The importance of the facility, to both UK academics and businesses, was obvious from the users and stakeholders that we consulted, who were highly positive about the quality of Diamond’s offer (both the technical capabilities and the accompanying support services). Capturing, demonstrating and measuring the broad range of benefits that flow from such investments is no easy task, but this is an essential part of the responsibility for the use of public funds.

We commend Diamond for its enthusiasm to better understand its impact, as well as to further developing its monitoring and evaluation activities going forward, such that it is even better placed in future to capture the manifold benefits that it enables.

Neil Brown, Managing Consultant at Technopolis Group

The study report was presented during a launch event. Stay tuned for the event recording!

Neil Brown, who managed the project on behalf of Technopolis Group, has discussed the study and Diamond’s societal impacts in a short podcast. You can give it a listen here.

The full study report is available here.

Image credits: Copyright © 2020 Diamond Light Source

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