Research Impact Canvas

Defining, mapping and following-up research results with innovation potential is a core activity in our SFI Offshore Mechatronics center. To support our work a tool called Research Impact Canvas was developed back in 2018. In addition to the The Research Canvas by iMinds, the main inspiration for the tool was the questions crafted by George H. Heilmeier (DARPA, 1975-1977) known as the Heilmeier Catechism.

The tool was developed in 2018 by Innoventus Sør (Asle Pedersen and Ranveig Tobiassen) as part of the project “Kommersialisering av forskning fra SFI Offshore Mechatronics” with funding from the Research Council Norway, FORNY2020 program.

The completed canvas results in an executive summary of the project including problem statement, todays practice, alternative solutions, expected results, competitive advantages, and IPR. To guide the answer to the questions a “Step-by-Step” guide is embedded in the template.

The tool can be used for different purposes, but the main usage in SFI Offshore Mechatronics is to interview the PhD students about their research project. A draft canvas can be completed by the PhD students individually. To ensure consistency and to challenge and refine the answers, it is advised to complete the canvas in collaboration with someone with prior experience in using the canvas.

Technically the tool is just a PowerPoint template, with one slide per question. The template uses the PowerPoint zoom feature to generate a compact and condensed one-page overview (requires Office 2016/Office 365 or higher to work properly). The canvas is typically distributed as a PDF either in the condensed one-pager format or in a notes hand-out format.

In addition to being used as an internal tool to assess innovation potential, the canvas is also an efficient format to communicate expected results and potential use-cases to the industry partners. With supervision from Ellen Nordgård-Hansen in Work Package 7, ten new canvases and 6 canvases drafted earlier were completed in 2022.

We are happy to share the tool which is distributed using a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license. This means that the tool can be shared and adapted, as long as appropriate credit is given. To get a copy of the PowerPoint template reach out to

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