Economics of Science
Tuesday, 25 June 2019, Crowne Plaza Brussels, BE

Draft Agenda (Last update: 30 April 2019)

Date Program
08:30–10:00 Sustainable Research Infrastructures (RI) – Challenges
Welcome (J. Gutleber, CERN)
i) Introduction (T. Lagrange, CERN), 15'
ii) The Challenges for Europe's R&I (M. Boni, MEP - member of ITRE committee), 15'
iii) The SKA approach to sustainable research (S. Berry, SKA), 20'
iv) The European Spallation Source: Designing a sustainable RI for Europe (J. Womersley), 20'
V) Towards sustainable RI (M. Ribeiro EC-DG-RI), 15'
Coffee/tea break
10:30–12:00 Methods for impact assessment
a) Designing a socio-economic impact framework for research infrastructures: lessons from the RI-PATHS project (A. Reid, EFIS centre), 30'
b) Socio-economic impact assessments of ESA programmes (C. Matthieu, ESA), 30'
c) Social Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of research infrastructures in physics(M. Florio, UNIMI), 30'
Lunch break
13:30–15:30 Creating impact – bringing the local with the global
a) Findings from the LHC/HL-LHC programme (A. Bastianin, U. Milano-Bicocca), 20'
b) Designing a RI with impact in mind (S. Vignetti, CSIL), 20'
c) Leveraging the economic potential of accelerator technologies: the case of superconductivity. (L. Kretzschmar, Vienna University of Business and Economics), 10'
d) Rethinking the public value of science (M. Loureiro, USC), 20'
e) The drivers of innovative collaborations and the role of public policies (R. Crescenzi, LSE), 20'
Coffee/tea break
15:30–17:00 Panel discussion “Investing in fundamental science – for whom?”
- M. Florio (Prof. of Economics, University of Milano)
- M. Massimi (Prof. of Philosophy, University Edinburgh)
- P. Amison (Head of Corporate Strategy and Impact Strategy, STFC)
- C. Welsch (Head of Physics Department, U. Liverpool)
Moderator: A. Ahuja (Freelance science journalist and commentator)
17:30–19:00 Reception

List of Speakers

Download the full list here

Speaker Details
Philip Amison
Philip Amison is Head of Corporate Strategy and Impact at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).  Part of UK Research and Innovation, STFC supports research in particle physics, astronomy, nuclear physics and space science. It also plans, designs, constructs and operates multidisciplinary facilities used by researchers across the whole spectrum of science. Philip studied economics at University College London and at the London School of Economics.  He has worked in both the public and the private sector, focusing on strategic and corporate planning, evaluation and performance frameworks.
Andrea Bastianin [University of Milano – Bicocca]
Andrea Bastianin is currently Assistant Professor (RTD A) of Econometrics at the Department of Economics, Management, and Statistics, University of Milan-Bicocca. ndrea holds a PhD in Economics from University of Milan. His research areas are: time series econometrics, energy and environmental economics.
Michał Boni [MEP]
Michał Jan Boni was an elected member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019 and was a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy that prepared the grounds for Horizon Europe. Previously he served as Poland’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy in 1991 and a deputy to the Polish Sejm from 1991 to 1993. He was a member of the Cabinet of Poland from 2009 and was Minister of Administration and Digitization from November 2011 to November 2013.
Simon Berry [SKA]
Simon joined the SKA Organisation in January 2014. He is responsible for all aspects of policy development in the project, ranging from how the future legal structure and organisation the project will work, to how it will be funded and the broader non-science case for countries investing in the project.
Ricardo Crescenzi [London School of Economics]
Prof Riccardo Crescenzi is (Full) Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics where he is also affiliated with the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) and the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC). Riccardo is the current holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. He is also an Associate at the Centre for International Development (CID) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His research is focused on Regional Economic Development and Growth, Innovation, Multinational Firms and the analysis and evaluation of European Union development policies
Massimo Florio [University of Milano]
Massimo Florio is Professor of Public Economics at the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods, Università degli Studi di Milano. He has also been awarded by the European Commission a Jean Monnet Chair of Economics of European Integration and subsequently the Jean Monnet Chair “Ad Personam” of EU Industrial Policy. He currently is the scientific coordinator of a Jean Monnet network of six universities. After graduating at the University of Rome, and obtaining a Master in Applied Economics at ISTAO, and holding teaching positions in different Universities in Italy, he spent three years as a Visiting Scholar at LSE and other British Universities. He has also been an Academic Visitor at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna), at the OECD (Paris), IMF and the World Bank in Washington D.C.
Linn Kretzschmar [Vienna University of Economics, WU]
Linn Kretzschmar (M.Sc.) is a researcher and lecturer currently pursuing her PhD at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). She is part of the MCSA training network EASITrain funded by the European Union’s H2020 program. Her aim is to identify valorization potentials of technologies involved in manufacturing process of superconducting materials. Before joining in 2017, Linn studied International Marketing and Management at Copenhagen Business School and majored in Innovation and Strategic Management. During her studies, she gained international experience in various industries.
Thierry Lagrange [CERN]
Thierry Lagrange graduated in economics and financial management in Belgium, and joined CERN in 1985 as a contract officer within the Procurement Service. He was appointed Head of Procurement in 1993, when the major procurement contracts for the LHC machine and experiments were put in place. He subsequently became leader of the Procurement and Logistics Division in 2002 before being appointed Deputy Head of the Finance Department in 2004, whose main responsibility was the management of the procurement and industrial services. He was Head of the Finance and Procurement Department from 2009 to 2015. He is now Head of Industry, Procurement & Knowledge Transfer Department. In addition, he has been appointed Management Liaison for Belgium.
Maria Loureiro [University of Santiago de Compostela]
Maria Loureiro is full professor at the Department of Economics at U. Santiago de Compostela. She got her Phd from the Washington State University (USA). She returned to the University of Santiago de Composela via the Ramón y Cajal Program. Previously, she has been a professor at Colorado State University (USA) and at the Carlos III University of Madrid. Her fields of specialization are agricultural economics, environmental economics and health economics. Her work of valuation of environmental impacts has been used in the process of claiming damages caused by the Prestige oil spill, being presented as an economic expert testimony by the Environmental Prosecutor of Galicia. She has been Secretary of the International Doctorate School (EDI) of the University of Santiago de Compostela, from February, January 2014 to February 2016, and Advisor to the Vicerrector of Research and Internationalization.
Michela Massimi [University of Edinburgh]
MICHELA MASSIMI is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Edinburgh. She is the Vice President of the European Philosophy of Science Association (2015-2019) and former Co-Editor-in-Chief of The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2011-2017). She is the recipient of the 2017 Royal Society Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture Medal for her work in the interdisciplinary area of history and philosophy of science. In 2018 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She is the PI on a 5-year ERC Consolidator grant entitled Perspectival Realism. Science, Knowledge and Truth from a Human Vantage Point ( ). She has extensively written in the area of history and philosophy of modern physics. For more information, please see her personal website:
Charlotte Mathieu [EU relations office, ESA]
Charlotte Mathieu is the Head of the Industrial Policy and Economic Analysis Section at the European Space Agency (ESA). Since she joined the Agency, she has held various posts in the Director General’s Policy Office, in the DG’s Office for Relations with the European Union and for the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications. She holds a double Masters degree in aerospace engineering from the Ecole Centrale Paris, France and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, as well as a second Masters degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. She also holds a degree in Economics from Université Pierre Mendès France, France.
Alasdair Reid [EFIS Centre]
Alasdair Reid is Policy Director of the European Future Innovation System (EFIS) Centre in Brussels. has over 25 years' experience of advising governments in developing, implementing and evaluating innovation based regional, inter-regional, national and European development programmes and strategies. He has worked extensively in the field of research infrastructures and is project co-ordinator for the Horizon 2020 funded projects European e-infrastructure Services Gateway ( and RI-PATHS ( He is a member of the ESFRI ad hoc working group on key performance indicators for research infrastructures.
Margarida Almeida Ribeiro [European Commission - DG Research & Innovation]
Margarida Almeida Ribeiro has a degree in International relations, a Masters in European political studies and a post-graduate degree in management – University of Lisbon. Margarida is working on her PhD on Political Science – Public policies, on Science diplomacy. She started working in the Economic Affairs Cabinet of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then moved to a management consultancy firm, managing European projects. After this experience in the private sector, she took a post in the Portuguese Council of Ministers and then Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, to support the Director-General of Science ICT policy, where she dealt with international and interinstitutional affairs. She was the national representative in several EU Committees, UN agencies and ITU. Currently, Margarida works for the European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Directorate B Open Innovation and Open Science. She is the EC contact person for EIROforum organisations, is part of the EC ESFRI Secretariat and she is working on international cooperation & research policy in the Research Infrastructures field. She has been appointed a member of the EC Horizon Europe strategic planning task force.
Silvia Vignetti [CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies]
Silvia Vignetti is an Economist and is currently the Director of the Evaluation Unit at CSIL. She is an expert in planning and evaluation of major infrastructure projects as well as in Cost-Benefit Analysis. In almost twenty years of professional experience, Silvia has gained a long track record of studies, evaluation assignments, technical advisory and training services for public administrations as well as EU and international organisations. Her more recent research interests include the assessment of socio-economic impact of Research Infrastructures.
Carsten Welsch [University of Liverpool]
Professor Welsch studied physics and economics at the Universities of Frankfurt (Germany) and UC Berkeley (USA) and did his PhD in accelerator physics at the University of Frankfurt. Following a Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and a Fellowship at CERN, he founded the QUASAR Group in 2007. He has been a member of academic staff at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology since 2008. In 2011 he was promoted to Full Professor of Physics and he has been Head of the Physics Department since September 2016.
John Womersley [European Spallation Source]
Professor John Womersley is one of the world’s foremost particle physicists and has taken leading roles on projects both in Europe and the United States. John worked at Fermilab near Chicago before becoming a scientific advisor to the Department of Energy in the US. He returned to the UK in 2005 to become Director of the Particle Physics Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at a time when it was building and delivering vital components to CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In time John took on a broader role as Director of the Science Programmes Office and was then appointed Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council in 2011. He is now the Director General of Europe’s next major science project, the European Spallation Source.

Detailed Programme

First Session: The role of Research Infrastructures in the broader Researc & Innovation landscape

As science progresses to higher precision and to the exploration of new frontiers new, more complex and more expensive research facilities are required. From large facilities such as CERN or large telescopes to distributed data networks, play a vital role in Research and Innovation and recent years have seen a strong growth in the number of RIs that are operational or planned across Europe.

Designing, building and operating large-scale research infrastructures call for significant investments and thus it is crucial for all stakeholders to understand the long-term sustainability of a research infrastructure. Talks in this session will discuss the present challenges in designing future research infrastructure and identify the different stakeholders that need to be engaged in a long-term strategic process that overcomes standard elector or budgetary planning periods.

Beyond the necessary financial resources needed, one should also understand the number of scientists that plan to use these infrastructures, the human-capital formation value through continuous training for skilled technicians & engineers, the potential for spin-offs and industrialization of technologies needed for the operation of these infrastructures but also the impact that such large-scale scientific installations have for the region where they are located and thus their impact for cohesion and integration of certain areas. These are some of the factors that help to understand the sustainability of RI. Experts from the European Commission & the European Parliament will present Europe’s view on this issue and discuss the integration of RIs into broader competitiveness concept at national or European level. The case of SKA and its approach to sustainability will also be presented during the session.

Second Session: Methods for impact assessment

Curiosity-driven researches, like that in particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, are examples of science programs extremely inspiring from an intellectual and philosophical point of view but whose practical applications are often not known yet. What is it the socio-economic impact of discovering new particles beyond the Standard Model of physics, to detect gravitational waves, or to take pictures of black holes? Is it worth investing significant tax-payers money on such far-reaching yet intangible and risky ventures in a moment of tight fiscal constraints and much more tangible societal challenges? What are the reasons to keep on with investments in fundamental research, even if its results are not immediately applicable? How can we measure and possibly maximize the societal impact of fundamental science?

Recent research in applied welfare economics, some of it focusing on CERN current and future projects, suggests that large-scale research infrastructures, such as particle accelerators, generate measurable impacts on technological, scientific, educational, and cultural dimensions. These impacts can be gauged by economists with new empirical methods. During the session, we will present different approaches and the challenges from assessing the socio-economic impact of these large-scale facilities.

How can we measure the industrial spillover, the value of human capital formation and the cultural value of operating these large-scale RIs. Which are the lessons from CBA analysis from CERN and ESA for the value of these facilities but also how can we further refine the methods for assessing the potential impact of different thypes of RIs? These are some of the questions that speakers will discuss during this session

Third Session: Creating impact – bringing the local with the global

Results from a CBA analysis of the LHC and the HL-LHC upgrade will be presented in the opening of the sessions.

The intangible nature of some benefits and the uncertainty associated to the achievement of research results have often discouraged the use of a proper CBA for RDI infrastructures. The second talk will present the results and the lessons learned on how to apply ex-ante CBA for major RDI infrastructures and the comprehensive conceptual framework informing this approach.

The third talk will present a different approach focusing on tracing the global value chain of a technology with a focus on accelerator technologies. The goal is to develop a framework that supports the identification, design and evaluation of value chain from the extraction of the raw material to different applications that the technology has and identify opportunities where chain actors can benefit from further R&D in these technologies.

Discussing the impact of RIs one had to define the concept of public value and how this is interpreted in modern economic systems. This will be the focus of the fourth talk of this session.

Finally, the last talk will explore “The drivers of innovative collaborations and the role of public policies”. What are the drivers of innovative collaborations? What factors shape the decision to work together on innovative projects? What is the role of geographical proximity and spatial clustering? What can public policies do in order to support collaborative research and innovation? These questions will be addressed in two steps. First, the collaborative behaviour of inventors will be explored in order to discuss the factors (geographical, institutional, social and organisational) that drive the formation of new successful collaborative projects. The second part of the talk will discuss the practical problems faced by public policies when trying to actively foster collaborations between research centres, universities and private firms in order to boost local innovation.

Round-table discussion:

Investing in Fundamental Science - For Whom?

- Prof. Massimo Florio is a well-known economists working on the field of Cost-Benefit Analysis for research infrastructures. This research is also the focus of his upcoming book "Investing in Science" (MIT Press)

- Prof. Michela Massimi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in July 2012, where she founded and is currently leading the Research Cluster in Philosophy of Science.

- Mr. Jennifer Moloney is Head of Impact Assessment for UKRI-STFC and lead the design of CBA studies for CERN as well as for other research facilities supervised by STFC. The goal is to have a voice from the funding agency/public sector in this round table.

- Prof. Carsten Welsch, is Head of Liverpool's Physics Department and Head of the Accelerator Physics and QUASAR Groups at Cockcroft Institute (UK). He coordinates many Marie-Curie EU-funded research and training networks DITANET, LA3NET, oPAC, OMA and the brand-new AVA

Moderator: Mrs. Anjana Ahuja (Science journalist and commentator)