The financial and socio-economic value of your project is fundamental for its approval and funding by your stakeholders.
The Cost-Benefit Analysis combines a financial and an economic analysis, i.e. this approach does not only take into account cash-inflows and cash-outflows but also the indirect effects of your projects. We call indirect effects the effects, positive or negative, created by the project which do not translate by cash-flows for your project. A typical example is the improvement in the training of students, who would then later on find more easily a position in a research institution or in the industry. User facility projects can also associate a value to the access time they plan to provide to their users, even though this access is granted on a free basis or for a very low fee.
The first step is to identify correctly the different sorts of impact factors (access, training, scientific publications, etc.), assess even roughly the potential values for each of those factors, and thus provide a first assessment of the socio-economic impact of the project.
In the context of the different Research Infrastructure projects we participated to, we have developed a lighter version of the full Cost-Benefit Analysis model we developed for those projects, allowing project managers to understand whether some adjustments in the project were necessary to be appealing to the main stakeholders, first and foremost the European Commission and the relevant Managing Authority. This “Quick Cost-Benefit Analysis” turned out to be an excellent way to entice project managers to put their minds into thinking their project strategically as a linchpin of the research-industry relationship that is sought after by the main stakeholders, and eventually obtain funds.
If you are interested or have questions about the Quick Cost-Benefit Analysis, please take contact with us. You can also download a presentation we did about the use of Cost-Benefit Analysis of Research Infrastructures at a conference organised by ESFRI.