The contribution a funding measure has made to achieve the funding objectives is always important for the sponsor. Because the r² funding initiative is part of the FONA framework programme, its contribution to sustainability plays a special role. This is why the sustainability impacts of the programme were analysed in separate work packages.
When assessing the aggregated ecological and socio-economic potentials, the direct impacts of the newly developed solutions were analysed and nation-wide potentials were shown for the funding initiative as a whole and for thematic clusters. The material savings’ potentials are of particular interest as is their relevance for improving resource productivity.
Macroeconomic impacts were also analysed. The impulses connected with the technological innovations − for example demand shifts between sectors − were examined with regard to their relevance for macroeconomic variables such as gross value added and employment.
Other studies dealt with how to further develop research support in the field of resource efficiency. As a basis for this, the strengths and weaknesses were analysed in the "Resource efficiency innovation system". Particular attention was paid to approaches to improving resource efficiency which cut across sectors and technologies because these are expected to have high potentials. The higher-level, longer-term perspective was included in a foresight study that was based on a synthesis of the funded r² projects and research questions that were still open at the end of the funding programme or had emerged during it.
The results are documented in different working papers on the individual work package pages. The estimates of the potentials were pooled and presented in Ostertag et al. 2013.