Science-Metrix begins summative evaluation of the Alberta Prion Research Institute

Published on September 4 2015

Science-Metrix has been mandated to perform a summative evaluation of the Alberta Prion Research Institute (APRI). The contract has been awarded by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and the evaluation is scheduled to run until December 2015.

APRI was created by the Government of Alberta in 2005 as part of its response to the 2003 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis, estimated to have resulted in a negative economic impact on Canada in the billions of dollars. Prions are a class of protein found in mammal brains that are believed to cause infectious diseases of the nervous system when misfolded. BSE in cattle is one such disease. APRI supports prion research, as well as research into other protein misfolding diseases, to minimize the risk of another significant BSE crisis.

The objective of APRI’s activities is to meet the following expected outcomes:

  •  strong Alberta capacity for prion and protein misfolding science;
  • knowledge generation in fundamental and applied areas that leads to prevention, mitigation and treatment of prion and protein misfolding diseases in animals and humans; and
  • mobilization of knowledge generated for use by industry, government and researchers.

The summative evaluation will assess the extent to which APRI has contributed to its expected outcomes, taking into consideration the influence of other government programs and investments on the achievement of those same outcomes. The evaluation will take a contribution analysis approach, drawing on lines of evidence gathered from bibliometric analysis, document and literature reviews, interviews, an e-survey and case studies.

The evaluation will be led by Senior Evaluator Jason Russo, operating out of Science-Metrix’s new Ottawa Evaluation Services office. Jason will be supported by the Evaluation Services team, as well as by the expertise of the company’s Montreal-based Bibliometrics team. The evaluation will build upon Science-Metrix’s experience evaluating BSE-related programs, including the Evaluation of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Management Program and the Evaluation of the Enhanced Feed Ban, both completed in 2013 for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

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