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European project Dissemination & Exploitation

The exploitation of a European project: key activities and how to start

Day One for #overflyBioWings


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”[1].

However, both during the proposal writing and once the project is running, it seems that project teams consider exploitation as an abstract measure that is only marginally linked to the research activities. But why does this happen? Among the most common barriers we must mention:

  • 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 is mainly on implementing and validating technical objectives instead of modulating work with the needs of users and stakeholders.

Instead, the latter point can represent the cornerstone to increase the awareness of the project results where seeds of innovation produce successful products thanks to the tight interaction with potential customers/users.

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

And how to start the process? Here there are few key steps that we, at Day One, are adopting to evaluate the market potential of the BioWings product:

  1. Identifies areas and stakeholders that could make use of the project results.
  2. Use effective channels to engage potential users (stakeholder networks and platforms, domain-specific platforms, EEN, project website, social channels).
  3. Keep the pace with the progress of the project with respect to the market trends.
  4. Make use of face to face or written (through survey) interviews 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 BioWings project through parallel stakeholder ad business analysis aiming at identifying the key features of the BioWings product ensuring a successful launch on the market.

Stay tuned and follow Day One on https://www.day-one.biz/


[1] http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/reference_terms.html