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Page updated 30.6.2023

Path to societal impact and achieving Sustainable Development Goals

How are Turku UAS’ Research Groups finding their path to have societal impact and responding to global challenges? A group of our Project and Senior advisors have written an interesting article on the topic.

Turku UAS has renewed its strategy during 2022. The strategy focuses on four themes: green economy, a good life, our Baltic Sea, and at home in the hybrid world. Sustainability and climate change are strongly present in two of the themes alongside with well-being, digitalization, and growth. The organisation is committed to ambitious goals that are in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Research Groups and internal RDI assessment

Societal impact refers to the ways in which research, development, and innovation (RDI) activities contribute to developments in society and to dealing with social issues. Impact is a complex phenomenon that arises in the interaction between research data and other factors, often over a long period of time.

Societal impact can be manifested in education and culture, well-being, research which generates new knowledge, or as active participation in regional development, reform in society or solving global challenges (see e.g., Academy of Finland, Finnish Education Evaluation Centre). The connection to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is strong since they are all about solving challenges that occur under the three thematical pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental.

The RDI assessment includes RDI projects’ lifecycle evaluation and Research Groups’ evaluation. The evaluation of Research Groups is not only part of Turku UAS’ quality control and assurance but also serves to identify trends.

Read more about the topic

Turku UAS has 31 Research Groups under three faculties. The range of topics is vast, and the activity covers everything from teaching via RDI to business. The Research Groups answer a self-evaluation questionnaire every other year as part of Turku UAS’ internal RDI assessment which serves the needs of the groups’ development work and executive management.