Christmas is coming… so let’s tell you about our summer!

It has been a while since our last blog post here. OK, it has been a very long while, but we hope it is not too late to explain ourselves! This has been a monumentally busy summer (and early autumn) with a number of projects all falling at once. Juggling workloads with family holidays (ah, those hot, heady days of summer…) presented a few challenges.

Here’s a glimpse of just a few projects we have been working on over the past few months

Continue reading Christmas is coming… so let’s tell you about our summer!

New Trends in European PR: Success Stories

This is a guest post by Piotr Pogorzelski on an important emerging trend within European R&D PR and communications – the success story.

Continue reading New Trends in European PR: Success Stories

Do projects like to communicate?

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the findings of a survey we conducted in order to inform our CSFRI (or Horizon 2020) Green Paper response. We have looked at the use of sub-contractors in current FP7 projects, issues surrounding the involvement of SMEs as project partners and the development of Horizon 2020 itself.

In this post we explore some of the attitudes people have towards project communication.
Continue reading Do projects like to communicate?

Filed under: CSFRI,dissemination,FP7,innovation,science copywriting | Tags: , , , , | By Hywel on July 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm

SMEs as EU project partners – is it possible?

A few thoughts on how Horizon 2020 – today announced as the new name for FP8 or the common strategic framework for research and innovation (CSFRI) – should make partnership in projects a viable option for SMEs. Continue reading SMEs as EU project partners – is it possible?

Filed under: CSFRI,FP7,innovation | Tags: , , , , , , | By Hywel on June 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Scientia Scripta on FP-tools.eu

As part of our on-going efforts to provide the best possible research dissemination service for EC-funded projects, we are delighted to announce that we are exploring  a new partnership with FP-tools.

FP-tools provides sophisticated document and project management tools specifically developed for EC framework programme researchers. The solutions on offer cover all aspects of project lifecycles from the creation of proposals, through research implementation to reporting on the final results.

The high quality tools on offer ensure that all documents are efficiently produced and in formats that comply fully with all EC requirements. However, the strength of all text does rely on the written ability of project partners as well as the amount of time and resources they can devote to the work. This can place limits on the quality of reports meaning that project research isn’t represented as well as it could be.

That’s where Scientia Scripta comes in. We are offering specialist editing and proofing of all reports and documents developed using FP-tools’ solutions; casting a critical yet creative eye over them to help research make more of an impact.

To find out more please go to FP-tools.eu and give your feedback on this exciting new development of our services.

Filed under: dissemination,FP7,science copywriting | Tags: , , , | By Hywel on June 17, 2011 at 2:06 am

Response to the CSFRI Public Consultation

The European Commission officially launched their analysis of the recent public consultation on the proposed Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding at an event today in Brussels. The event was very well attended and we managed to view many of the key speeches over the live webstream at the EUTV website.

The CSFRI will continue on from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) once it expires in 2013 and the recent public consultation was designed to acquire the views of stakeholders across the EU. We had contributed to that study and were very interested to hear the results of the EC’s initial overview of the responses.

A green paper on the summary analysis of the public responses (both position papers and via the online survey) was published this morning detailing the key findings of the consultation. Several points are detailed below:

Support for the CSFRI concept – the consultation showed that there is widespread support for the proposals to combine funding mechanisms into a single framework and for the streamlining of processes this will hopefully provide.

Open, simplified and coherent funding – in addition to the benefits it is hoped that the CSFRI will provide, many respondents called for greater simplification across all funding mechanisms but with increased open and flexible opportunities for relevant organisations and SMEs. Many would also like to see continuation of the more successful initiatives currently in operation.

Greater societal focus – there is a significant desire to see a greater focus on societal challenges being addressed in future projects. Innovations that address issues relating to Europe’s aging population were particularly highlighted.

In addition the short list for the You Name It! competition to give a new title to the CSFRI was released at the conference’s close and voting on the winner is now open.

We will discuss the issues raised at the conference and highlighted in the public consultation analysis report further of the coming weeks in conjunction with presenting more of our own research and opinions on the CSFRI proposals.

For further reading at this stage however, some useful resources are included below:

The Analysis of the Public Consultation Report

The opening and closing conference addresses by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

Please bookmark or save a link to our blog to hear more very soon.

Filed under: CSFRI,FP7,innovation | Tags: , , , , , , , | By Hywel on June 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Obstacles to FP7 outsouring

Our recent survey of people involved in FP7 projects found that projects seemed to be unimpressed by the use of sub-contractors. However, as we have discussed previously, these negative attitudes may be unfounded, based on perceptions rather than actual experience. Indeed, a fifth of those that had not used sub-contractors still believed that projects would improve were they to hire sub-contractors. So what is stopping them?

Perhaps they are sub-contracting the wrong kinds of activities. Scientia Scripta believes that when it comes to communication and dissemination it makes absolute sense to call in the professionals. Of course, some scientists – like the physicist Brian Cox in the UK who was recently received a Brit Award as TV’s top presenter – are amazing communicators. But most prefer to get on with their research, running their departments or going to conferences – doing what they do best. So why not hire a professional science copywriter to write your leaflets and edit your reports? Let them find the best words to make your communication materials be understandable, engaging and, most importantly, get across your key messages to your target audiences.

In a previous post we argued that an outsider’s viewpoint on research projects can provide valuable insights and objective opinions for dissemination purposes. Our survey also revealed that those projects which had experience of using sub-contractors would be more likely to sub-contract communication tasks than those projects that had no experience of outsourcing. These projects have seen the benefits that outsiders can bring – outsiders that may bring new ideas, alternative perspectives and innovation to a consortium.

Our survey was only small, we know. More thorough and larger studies are of course required to determine whether the insights from our survey reflect more general trends or whether other explanations may exist (for example, perhaps projects do not use sub-contractors due to financial constraints or the lack of suitable service providers).

Still, we think sub-contracting certain project tasks – especially those that are not part of the core R&D work packages – makes perfect sense and will help projects get better value for money. Professional service providers know what they can achieve on tight budgets!

Should EC-funded R&D projects use sub-contractors?

More FP7 projects should think about using sub-contractors to build stronger collaborative teams. Continue reading Should EC-funded R&D projects use sub-contractors?

Filed under: Communication strategy,dissemination,FP7 | Tags: , , , , , | By Hywel on June 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Scientia Scripta submits response to EC’s CSFRI consultation

Firstly, a big thanks from us to everyone who kindly responded to our online survey about dissemination and communication as part of a future EU research, development and innovation funding framework programme. We received a total of 61 responses from a wide range of different FP7 stakeholders. This excellent response has provided us with a real insight into how the research community regards the European Commission’s current requirement for dissemination and communication tasks within FP7 projects.

We will soon publish some of the survey results in this blog. But in the meantime, you may want to know what we said to the EC in our consultation response.

The future of EU science – contribute to the EC’s FP8 consultation

In February 2011 the European Commission presented a green paper on the future of EU R&D funding. The paper, From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation, outlines the EC’s desire to make numerous changes the next Framework Programme, due to commence in 2013.
Continue reading The future of EU science – contribute to the EC’s FP8 consultation