During the preparation of a European project it is necessary to include a plan that foresees the expected economic, social, and environmental impact, as we have already seen here.


In this article, we will focus on measuring and tracking economic impact.


Let’s go through all the elements and steps point by point. 


What are impact indicators?


In order to define impact indicators we can refer to the concept of a self-feeding circle of impact where we find:


  • The definition or design of the expected impact, in relation to the reference program.
  • Implementation,e. the strategic plan linked to the project proposal and the various expected results.
  • Evaluation and monitoring, with regard to the project’s KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), in order to intervene when necessary. In addition, the data collected will continuously influence project development and evaluation, both during and after the project, to ensure its sustainability.

Economic Impact European Projects


Guidelines for measuring economic impact


Economic impact involves promoting forms of innovation, facilitating technology development, transferring skills, and distributing innovative solutions.


What objectives of the expected economic impact can we consider?


  • Generate growth based on innovation
  • Create more and better jobs
  • Promote investment into research and innovation


Which indicators should be taken into account to define economic impact?


  • The European policies and priorities that we are responding to
  • The key strategic directions for research and innovation
  • Meeting the impact expressly requested in the work program and in the reference call, both at the general objective level and at the level of specific objectives
  • Establish clear, measurable and verifiable expected results


Measure and evaluate impact


We can establish together the testing criteria to measure and evaluate the expected impact. This way I will already have a template ready to use should the project be approved and funded.


How do we establish verification criteria?


By involving key stakeholders in the preparation phase, activating active workshops to understand what economic expectations are foreseen for each organization and how they are translated into results (operational objectives).


At the end of this preparation, we will have established KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), which will allow us to monitor many things, including:


  • Growth of the organization in economic and financial terms
  • Number of jobs created
  • Number of users reached




How do we properly define our KPIs?


To define KPIs in the best way possible, we will need to engage multi-disciplinary teams that can predict the expected economic impact across multiple areas.


Do you need any help defining the impact of your project or do you want someone to review what you’ve written?


Feel free to contact me to arrange a meeting: I will be delighted to answer any questions you may have!   


Sara Canella

Sara Canella

EU Funding, Innovation & Marketing

I am a freelance consultant specialized in applying for and managing European funding for companies and start-ups active in the field of research and innovation. My work includes the creation of business plans, development plans and marketing plans aiming at applying for European calls for proposals. My objective is to provide companies active in innovation with some concrete tools to start their projects and with my know-how to convert them into real business opportunities.