Eurice Experts at European Week of Regions & Cities in Brussels

Q&A session on effective communication, dissemination and exploitation in EU-funded projects

As part of the European IP Helpdesk training activities, our team members Stephanie Weber (Communications) and Michele Dubbini (IP & Innovation) joined this year's European Week of Regions & Cities at the beginning of October. From 7 to 10 October 2019 the four-day event welcomed more than 9, 300 participants to a week full of workshops, plenary talks and exchange in Brussels, Belgium.

On 10 October 2019, Stephanie and Michele provided a Q&A session on "Maximising Impact: Effective Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation in EU-funded Projects". The workshop put a particular spotlight on the role of communication, dissemination and exploitation in maximising the impact of EU-funded projects. While many beneficiaries of EU research and innovation projects are aware of the need to bring their project activities and outcomes to the attention of the broader public and relevant stakeholders, there still exists some confusion about what these three concepts really mean: How do activities relate to each other? And how can they be distinguished from one another?

Against this backdrop, the major aim was to draw the bigger picture, and provide participants with a better understanding of the differences and touching points between the activities, and why it takes an integrated approach to effectively carry out communication, dissemination and exploitation.

“It’s essential for beneficiaries of EU-funded projects to understand, that communication, dissemination and exploitation measures are not to be considered as mere tick-boxes for a successful project proposal, but that a sound outreach strategy will benefit their own work, profile and reputation”, Stephanie Weber pointed out at the beginning of the meeting.

In a short introductory presentation participants heard about central definitions and ideas behind the three concepts and got an overview of key practical steps to consider when elaborating an outreach and exploitation strategy. In relation to the latter, the last part of the presentation specifically touched upon issues related to safeguarding and managing intellectual property (IP) in EU projects. The second part of the session was dedicated to discussion and interchange.

“Exploitation does not always mean monetisation. Exploitation may, but not necessarily has to generate cash. It can also mean using results in further research, policy reports, or education. The type of exploitation clearly depends on the nature and objectives of each individual project”, Michele Dubbini added in his talk.

Summing up, a key take-away message of the session was, that in order to maximise the impact of research and innovation projects, communication, dissemination and exploitation measures should be understood as “horizontal issues” that run alongside and complement research activities throughout a project’s life cycle.

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Stephanie Weber
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