Impact Assessment (IA) has the potential for delivering more sustainable development as well as
enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making. Policies aiming at sustainable
development need a solid foundation trough IA using a variety of IA tools. However, existing research
points out that the full potential of IA is not being realised. Many tools to support IA have been
developed, but are not yet being fully employed by policy makers. These missed opportunities are
symptomatic of a large and deep gap between the two broad communities of IA researchers and IA
practitioners. Practitioners tend to look for tools that are simple and transparent while the researchers
are more interested in the sophistication and innovative aspects of assessment tools. The main purpose
of LIAISE was to identify and exploit opportunities to bridge between these two communities in a way that
leads to an enhanced use of IA tools in policy making. Its centrepiece was  a shared toolbox -
simultaneously accessible and useful for policy makers as well as for the research community. The
LIAISE consortium did:
· United the multi-disciplinary competences of a core of large European institutes, that in turn
consolidate the expertise from large FP6 projects such as SEAMLESS, SENSOR, MATISSE,
Sustainability A Test, IQ Tools and EVIA;
· Combined researchers that analyse current policy needs and link them in innovative ways (i.e.
targeted, co-designed and co-produced IA ‘test cases’) to those who maintain existing and are
presently improving existing and developing new tools;
· Developed a roadmap towards a virtual centre of excellence on IA, that operates as the durable
hub of existing academic and practitioner networks relevant to the themes of the NoE;
· Maintained the flexibility to support ‘real life’ IA processes, informed by a structured dialogue with
the IA user community, represented by a high level Policy Advisory Board;
· Developed a business plan to ensure durable operation, scientific credibility and efficient usability of
the shared toolbox, also in the post-project period.
As a result of the project, the following outputs were reached:
· A shared toolbox: a durable and flexible infrastructure to support IA with improved tools;
· A continuously updated shared research agenda fed from scientists of different disciplines and
· Capacity building and training components to spread the results of research activities to target
groups in communities of IA users and IA researchers;
· A virtual centre of excellence: an internationally visible, integrated and interdisciplinary scientific
community providing excellent and applicable research in support of IA.


Europäische Kommission, DG Research , Brüssel , BE

Project duration

01.11.2009 - 31.10.2014

Project members

Dr. Klaus Rennings (Coordinator)
Frank Pothen

Cooperation partner

Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, DE
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, GR
Natural Environment Research Council , Swindon, UK
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Mailand, IT
Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK
Estonian Institute for sustainable development, Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre, Tallinn, EE
Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, FI
Fundación Labein, Derio, ES
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn, DE
University of East Anglia, Norwich , UK
Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung, Leipzig, DE
Wageningen University, Wageningen, NL
Leibniz Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung e. V., Müncheberg, DE