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Exploitation of a European project: how to start and key activities

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Results exploitation is an activity the importance of which is sometimes underestimated. Day One is in charge of this phase for STREAM-0D: in this article the Italian company tells us why exploitation should be better considered and what would be a good strategy to implement it.

If we look for an official definition of the term “exploitation”, the Horizon 2020 program generally refers to “the utilization of results in further research activities other than those covered by the action concerned, or in developing, creating and marketing a product or process, or in creating and providing a service, or in standardization activities”.

However, both during the proposal writing and the project course, it seems that project teams consider exploitation as an abstract measure, marginally linked to research activities.

Exploitation matters

Why does that happen? Among the most common barriers it would be worth mentioning:

  • the scarce interest to effectively consider the value and the possible benefits of the project results outside the “typical” community and hence the perception of the exploitation phase as not important for the “real work” of the project;
  • the focus of the project, which is mainly related to the implementation and validation of technical objectives instead of modulating work around the needs of users and stakeholders.

The latter point, in particular, could serve as cornerstone to increase the awareness on the project results; these “seeds of innovation” could in fact bring to the potential development of successful products thanks to the tight interaction with potential customers/users.

Hence, how can we start a successful exploitation plan? We could suggest to read a few masterpieces on “how to exploit the market potential of scientific results” (ok, do it anyways!), but we think that, getting out of the lab and talking with real users and customers should be actually the right way to make scientific innovations tangible and real.

Let’s do it!

How to start the exploitation process, then? Here there are few key steps that we, at Day One, are adopting to evaluate the market potential of the STREAM-0D product:

a. Identify areas and stakeholders that could make use of the project results.

b. Use effective channels to engage potential users (stakeholder networks and platforms, domain specific platforms, EEN, project website, social channels).

c. Keep the pace with the progress of the project with respect to the market trends.

d. Make use of face-to-face or written interviews (through surveys) to collect feedback on the project idea to modulate the product development accordingly to the users’ requirements.

This is what we are doing in the STREAM-0D project through parallel stakeholder and business analysis aiming at identifying the key features of the STREAM-0D product ensuring a successful launch on the market.

Stay tuned and follow the progress on STREAM-0D website and our social channels:

 


This article by DAY ONE (Italy) is part of the Bits of STREM-0D series of contributions from the project’s consortium partners. Periodically, on STREAM-0D channels, a different topic will be given prominence, along with videos featuring members involved in the project.

Check the article in which ITAINNOVA gives an in-depth description of STREAM-0D goals.

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