Establishing indicators for our societal impact

We strive to ensure our philanthropic support to research have real positive impact by monitoring and collecting data on seven key indicators.  

The primary focus of the LEO Foundation’s philanthropic activities is to provide grants for research that transforms our understanding of the skin and its diseases. The overall aim is to improve the lives of people living with skin diseases – and eventually pave the way for curing skin diseases. We want to ensure that our philanthropic activities create a positive impact, not only within the specific research field but also potentially for society at large.

We need comparable data and systematic monitoring over time, to achieve such insights. To this end, we have defined a set of seven impact indicators, which we apply to monitor the societal impact of our research grants and awards. We use these indicators to follow the development and changes that the Foundation intends to support through its grant activities.

Seven impact indicators

  • Beyond research output: focus on the excellence of Foundation-funded research and its potential to create long-term value.
  • Innovation, invention, and market: focus on how Foundation-funded research advances patient-centric innovation and pioneers new treatments and discoveries.
  • Education: focus on how Foundation-funded research contributes to strengthening the pipeline of future skin researchers.
  • Patients and treatments of diseases: focus on how Foundation-funded research improves the understanding of the skin and its diseases.
  • Awareness: focus on the number of researchers applying for Foundation funding and on increasing awareness of the skin and skin research.
  • Ecosystem (landscape) position: focus on catalyzing a skin research ecosystem building on strong international relations and collaborations.
  • Social sustainability: focus on increasing gender diversity in funding practices, and how Foundation-funded research benefits as many as possible.

We do not expect every grant to realize the impact on all indicators, just as we have aimed to keep the reporting requirements put on the grantees at a reasonable level.

Monitoring what we – almost – control

The key premise for understanding our societal impact is that it happens by proxy – through the grants we provide, and with a long timeline.

The time passed from when we provide funding to a research project until a potential impact on e.g., patients’ lives can be up to 10 or even 20 years. We acknowledge that research takes time and recognize that from the initial research idea to its ultimate impact, many parties have been involved, and along the way, various types of impact occur – from academic impact to broader societal impact.

When sufficient data has been collected to draw meaningful conclusions, we will report publicly on the LEO Foundation’s societal impact.