Take a look at this article by Steven Hill, posted on HEFCE blog.
There is considerable, and mounting, evidence that investment in university research makes a difference outside of academia. The impact that such research has is diverse, and depends on a diverse array of disciplinary knowledge.
A key feature of research impact is that it is tangible. Specific people or organisations are affected, and often the impact occurs in specific places. From this stems an important question for research policy: how does the location of the research compare to the location of the impact? Or put another way, if we want to create benefits in a specific place, to what extent should research investment be directed to that location?
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