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Quantitative estimation of research societal and economic impact remains an ongoing issue. This is due to the difficulty to attribute specific economic or societal impact to particular research activity. Nevertheless, evaluating research impact is necessary to justify research spending especially for engineering research studies, as they are generally more costly than humanities or social studies for example. This work considered research impact evaluation in NSF (The National Science Foundation in the USA), EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the UK), and TRC (The Research Council in Oman) to propose a low-cost survey-based approach to evaluate the engineering research impact. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to all faculty staff at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) to assess their recent research impact in the years 2016 and 2017. The evaluation was carried at three levels; knowledge, societal, and economic impact. The results of the study were compared with an independent study produced by an international consultancy group. This study offers an important contribution to the subject of evaluating impact factors of engineering research in Oman.
Keywords: SQU; societal impact; socioeconomic impact; NSF; EPSRC; RAND; TRC; knowledge impact; Oman
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