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Project communication and dissemination in Industry 4.0

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The management of communication and dissemination for STREAM-0D allowed Day One, one of the project partners, to strengthen its experience in the field of Industry 4.0, which turned out be extremely dynamic.

Day One is an Innovation Lab based in Rome, Italy, that supports European researchers and start-ups – funded by investors or the European Commission – to release innovative technologies on the market.

Within the context of European projects, the company is in charge of carrying out activities related to the communication and dissemination of project results, thus facilitating their access to the market.

This is also the case of STREAM-0D, which has been funded by the EU within the Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework program.

The main goal of the project is the creation of an innovative integrated control system to be applied in the production lines to ensure Zero-Defect Manufacturing.

STREAM-0D represents a clear example of the Industry 4.0 paradigm, providing also an interesting model of technological integration. Moreover, the project involves a consortium made of research institutes and universities, SMEs and end-user companies coming from seven different European countries.

 

Communicating and disseminating project results

Why should it be important to communicate and disseminate around a project? And what are the differences between the two activities?

Any scientific effort needs effective communication and dissemination; specifically, every Horizon 2020 project should rely on communication and dissemination of results as key components to promote the project itself and its success. This, to bring EU-funded research and its results to the attention of multiple audiences, help to drive competitiveness and growth in Europe and address societal challenges.

An increased awareness of EU-funded R&I activities and project results will directly and indirectly bring many benefits: for example, secure or increase research and innovation funding, establish new research or business contacts and stimulate further research.

Communication on projects, as defined by the EC Research & Innovation Participant Portal, is «a strategically planned process that starts at the outset of the action and continues throughout its entire lifetime, aimed at promoting the action and its results. It requires strategic and targeted measures to communicate to a multitude of audiences, including the media and the public and possibly engaging in a two-way exchange».

Dissemination, on the other hand, is «the public disclosure of the results by any appropriate means, including scientific publications in any medium».

Day One, as STREAM-0D partner, is in charge of the above mentioned activities and, besides that, of the exploitation of the results; this latter, given the complexity of the action, would require a separate in-depth analysis.

So let’s just focus on communication and dissemination, on how the EC supports projects and the advantages of dealing with the industrial field.

 

Context, tools and opportunities

The peculiarity of carrying out communication and dissemination activities in a project such as STREAM-0D is the possibility to address industrial stakeholders, which are active in a field that is driven by the dynamics of the much discussed and debated Industry 4.0 paradigm.

This works as a lever to increase the interest of stakeholders and the general public. The industry 4.0 paradigm, and specifically the concepts of smart factories and Zero-Defect Manufacturing (ZDM), indeed drive an association between the research activities carried out within STREAM-0D and broader concepts such as sustainability, better work conditions and the ‘smart use’ of technology; which is very good when it is necessary to communicate and describe the benefits of the solution upon which STREAM-0D partners are working on.

The European Commission, conscious of the importance of the communication and dissemination activities, offers EU-funded projects free and very useful tools to better perform in these tasks: STREAM-0D, represented by Day One, took for example advantage of the Common Dissemination Booster (CDB), a free service from the EC available to all, ongoing or closed, European, National, Regional funded Research & Innovation (R&I) projects; CDB encourages projects to come together to identify a common portfolio of results and shows them how best to disseminate to end-users, with an eye on exploitation opportunities.

The actions carried out within the CDB led STREAM-0D to tighten relationships with the other ZDM EU-funded projects and plan a few joint actions that could be considered as cluster activities, in order to be more effective towards the target to which address the message. But not just that.

The cooperation between ZDM projects materialized in the production of a policy brief, which is an insight on a specific research field (ZDM, in this case) with a list of propositions or challenges that could be implemented by policy makers in order to increase the effectiveness of the research activities conducted within and after projects’ lifecycles.

These examples clearly highlight the differences between communication and dissemination activities and provide more details about the broad range of possibilities that the EC make available to companies, such as Day One, that are involved in EU-funded projects.

 

This article was provided by Day One, one of STREAM-0D’s project consortium partner. Day One leads all tasks related to IPR management and protection. The core responsibility will be to follow the product development plan, being sure that it satisfies the market requirements collected by directly interacting with all the concerned stakeholders. Day One is also responsible for carrying out the communication and dissemination strategy.

 

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