The SHAPE of things to come: Current and future Aspect impact

Aspect has achieved significant milestones since its inception five years ago. As it progresses towards its latest phase, marked by the introduction of a new funding model, Aspect aims to accomplish three primary objectives:

  • Showcasing Impact Achievements: Over the past years, Aspect has made remarkable strides in fostering SHAPE commercialisation. Through collaborative efforts with 50 higher education institutions and partner organisations, it has built an ecosystem supporting the emergence of new commercial opportunities from SHAPE research.
  • Highlighting Future Potential: The programme underscores the existing and potential impact of SHAPE commercialisation. By nurturing relevant capacity and skills, sharing knowledge, and addressing challenges and opportunities in commercialisation, Aspect aspires to ensure SHAPE research significantly contributes to the UK economy and society.
  • Enhancing Impact Reporting: To reinforce the case for future funding and institutional participation, Aspect seeks to effectively capture and demonstrate the economic and social benefits derived from its initiatives. This entails a shift from focusing solely on activities and outputs to capturing outcomes and real-world impacts.

To achieve these goals, Aspect has undertaken a comprehensive review of its activity over the last few years, encompassing findings, insights, and recommendations across various dimensions. In this report, we go hunting for the strongest set of outcome proof points to ensure Aspect is able to fully demonstrate its impacts to critical audiences, including Members and new potential funders, includinG:

  • Impact Capture Methodology: Insights into the methodologies employed to capture and assess the impact of Aspect’s initiatives.
  • Pre-zero Point Impact Assessment: Evaluation of the impact achieved prior to the implementation of specific interventions.
  • Post-zero Point Impact Assessment: Assessment of the impact realised following the implementation of interventions and initiatives.
  • Comparison to Mature SHAPE Spin Outs: Comparative analysis with more established SHAPE spinouts to identify trends and best practices.
  • Lessons for SHAPE Commercialisation: Insights gleaned from Aspect’s experience to inform future strategies and approaches in SHAPE commercialisation.
  • Impact Reporting Conclusions and Future Approach: Conclusions drawn from the impact reporting exercise and recommendations for future reporting methodologies.

With this research in-hand Aspect aims to provide a robust framework for capturing, assessing, and reporting on the impact of its initiatives, thus paving the way for continued success and growth in SHAPE commercialisation.

A huge thank you to Campbell McDonald and Mark Mann from Divine Ox for conducting this research and producing the report.

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