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FaciLitating Access to Socio-economic ResearcH through Information and Communications Technology

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Policy benefits of research

An EU team helped illustrate the policy applications of European research via a series of targeted publications. The intent was to improve policymaking with effective dissemination of Sixth and Seventh Framework Programme (FP6 and FP7, respectively) results and to foster policy dialogue.

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While FP6 and FP7 research programmes produce considerable worthwhile results relevant to EU 2020 policy, certain communication gaps remain between researchers and policymakers. Reasons include ineffective dissemination and lack of standardisation for project data management. The EU-funded project FLASH-IT (Facilitating access to socio-economic research through information and communications technology) project intended to close the gaps. The aim was to contribute to evidence-based policymaking concerning EU 2020 priorities using effective dissemination of the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) programme results. A second goal was facilitating science and technology policy dialogue. The five-member consortium ran between late 2011 and late 2014. Team members collated policy-relevant research findings from approximately 100 FP6 and FP7 SSH-funded projects. Subjects addressed several broad themes including: smart, inclusive and sustainable growth. From the findings, the project prepared a set of nine policy snapshot syntheses, highlighting government applications of the research. Additionally, FLASH-IT prepared 21 policy research alerts. The monthly documents were similar to press releases, and highlighted newsworthy and policy-relevant angles of SSH research. Such documents were distributed via email, and hosted on the project website. The website also hosted hundreds of other project publications, including brochures, a poster and a five-minute video. The group's extensive database was also accessible via the webpage. The consortium hosted several thematic workshops, which facilitated dialogue among relevant stakeholders. The purpose was to establish long-term communication and collaboration. FLASH-IT increased the dissemination of results from around 100 SSH projects pertaining to EU policy. Such efforts helped achieve a better match between research and policy outcomes.


Policymaking, effective dissemination, EU 2020, socio-economic research, Social Sciences and Humanities

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