The goal of the REVALORISE+ project is ambitious. Our work on this project is towards developing a new generation of SSH valorisation champions. Advocates who are empowered and enabled to use their research to impact society.
We recognise that to date, policy-makers, research funders and often university boards have prioritised pursuing the immediate returns of research valorisation of the STEM sciences. Tangible returns from licencing and patenting the outcome of STEM projects received more focus and attention and sometimes there was an absence of role models in the social science and humanities disciplines.
REVALORISE+ wanted to enhance the societal value and impact of social sciences and humanities research by translating the findings into innovative products, services, processes or business activities. To help do this, REVALORISE+ identified a number of valorisation champions and curated a selection of Lighthouse Stories from across Europe. These stories demonstrated successful valorisation in the social sciences and humanities while also highlighting the supports, challenges and opportunities experienced by the champions.
The Lighthouse Stories were collected through interviews with people who had undertaken successful valorisation activities. The aim was to provide a more personal perspective of the valorisation journey and to understand the motivations and the unique and common aspects of the participants’ journeys.
The main learnings from these interviews are that by valorising their research and working activities, learning by doing and creating new outcomes from their studies, they started to discover a new world of possibilities. Valorisation, the process of creating value from knowledge, leading to societal and economic impacts, widened the concept that our Lighthouse Stories protagonists had of what research can accomplish within and outside academia. This insight is extremely powerful and turns our attention to the importance of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours within the practice of valorisation in SSH. The LH stories prove that valorisation activities require as much attitudinal work as technical skills in order to become successful.
Read our Lighthouse Stories here, and get inspired to pursue your own valorisation journey.