ASTUTE 2020 Project Evaluation
Swansea University | Published February 1, 2016
Miller Research (Uk) Ltd
High Value Manufacturing is a key economic activity in Wales and there is recognised world-class manufacturing expertise in Welsh universities. This provides an excellent opportunity to address the need for Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) in industry by facilitating collaboration between the high value manufacturing industry and academia in areas that can achieve high economic impact.
ASTUTE 2020 is a proposal for a five year, £14.7 million operation under the ERDF Investment Priority 1b which has got the strategic objective to promote business investment in innovation and research, and develop links and synergies between enterprises, R&D centres and higher education, in particular product and service development, technology transfer, social innovation, eco innovation, public service applications, demand stimulation, networking, clusters and open innovation through Smart Specialisation and support technological and applied research, pilot lines, early product validation actions, advanced manufacturing capabilities and first production, in particular in Key Enabling Technologies and diffusion of general purpose technologies. Subject to a successful funding application, ASTUTE 2020 will deliver under Specific Objective 1.2 which has got the strategic objective to increase the successful translation of research and innovation processes into new and improved commercial products, processes and services, in particular through improved technology transfer from HEIs. ASTUTE 2020’s aim is to enable transformational and sustainable operation of and growth in the manufacturing industry of West Wales and the Valleys (WWV) by facilitating the adoption of advanced technologies, increasing competitiveness and future proofing. This will be achieved by means of demand-led collaborative RD&I, and knowledge exchange with industry through an Adaptive Smart Specialisation approach, whereby a partnership of Welsh Universities will harness the world-leading and internationally excellent manufacturing expertise within them to improve the economic prosperity of the Region.
The ASTUTE 2020 operation is required to undergo an inception, a mid-term and a final evaluation. The inception evaluation should form the baseline against which progress can be assessed for the mid-term. It is expected that it will be used to develop a theory of change logic model, which will ensure that the data being collected is adequate to be able to evaluate against that model in the mid-term and final evaluations.
The inception evaluation will have the following objectives:
1. Develop an operational intervention logic model, which will ensure that the data being collected is adequate to be able to evaluate against that model in the mid-term and final evaluations. The model that will be developed at this stage will be much more detailed than the original intervention logic and will need to consider all of the potential outputs and outcomes beyond our programme indicators. It will be developed in consultation between the evaluator and stakeholders and might, in addition to the above, identify any likely unintended consequences (which can be positive or negative);
2. Identify what data needs to be systematically collected to evaluate the impact of the operation;
3. Identify /define target groups of enterprises through secondary data sources, identify where the target groups are located and outline any relevant data that could be collected and used to compare the before and after situation;
4. Evaluate how the operation fits with the WG’s Smart Specialisation agenda.
The objectives of the mid-term evaluation will be to assess the data collected after the inception evaluation and use the operational intervention logic model as a base to evaluate the impact of the operation. Further details based on the results of the inception evaluation will be discussed closer to the start of the mid-term evaluation.
The key deliverables for both the inception and the mid-te