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Calls for evidence: sports and culture / R&D commercialisation

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We’re beginning a second batch of evidence reviews, following our work on employment training and business support (out in May).

Following conversations with our user group, these reviews will look at the local economic impacts of sports and cultural events and facilities, and at policies that aim to increase R&D and to maximise its commercial benefits.

Why these? Understanding the economic impacts of sport is highly topical, with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games and the Tour de France heading to the UK again this year. While only a few places get to host these mega-events, many more want to host festivals, build museum, venues or stadiums in the hope of boosting the local economy. So it’s important to know what local communities can expect to gain.

Turning scientific research into real-world products and services is a crucial part of long term economic development, and programmes to promote R&D and increase commercialisation are central in industrial strategy. Cluster policies are also back in vogue in the UK and elsewhere. So once again local leaders need to know what, if anything, they can influence at a local level – for example through university-industry links, clusters or finance.

We’re kicking off both these reviews with a call for evidence, and we’d love to hear from you.

For the sports and culture review, we’re interested in events (arts, music or other festivals, sporting competitions) and facilities (stadiums, venues) which are targeted at regional, national or international audiences.

The commercialisation review covers three policy strands: grants, tax credits and tax incentives for R&D; public procurement policies and/or innovation prizes; and programmes to promote university-industry collaboration.

As we’ve said before, we’re looking for evaluation evidence – specifically impact evaluations that include before/after analysis, and have data on both ‘treated’ firms / places and comparison groups. We’re also interested in reviews of existing evaluation evidence.

Some of you have already pointed us to work you know of or have done – a huge thanks for that. We’d encourage the rest of you to have a think and point us to anything that might fit. If you’re not sure it’s relevant or right – please let us see it! We don’t want to miss anything key, so we’d rather have material even if it gets filtered out later. As usual, the easiest way to reach us is via email or twitter: or leave us a comment below and we’ll get in touch.

The deadlines for submitting evidence are 25 April (sports and culture) and 16 May (R&D commercialisation).