Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

CORDIS Event offered new insights into Service coverage and usage

On Wednesday 21 May 1997, CORDIS hosted its first 'CORDIS Information Evening' in Brussels. The event offered over 250 R&D professionals who contribute information to, as well as use CORDIS, an opportunity to learn more about, and 'sample' via a special 'CORDIS Cyber Café', re...
On Wednesday 21 May 1997, CORDIS hosted its first 'CORDIS Information Evening' in Brussels. The event offered over 250 R&D professionals who contribute information to, as well as use CORDIS, an opportunity to learn more about, and 'sample' via a special 'CORDIS Cyber Café', recent developments in the Service. Attendees represented a variety of R&D-interested organizations including key individuals from the European Union institutions, Member State research organizations and Ministries, innovation organizations and trade associations.

The evening was highlighted by two keynote speakers who each offered a glimpse into how CORDIS has evolved and is used by a broad range of audiences - from small and medium-sized enterprises to national governments.

First, Mr. Koen de Pater, Coordinator of EU Framework Programme research in the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Netherlands, offered an example of how the Dutch government uses CORDIS. Mr. de Pater presented the results of a recent survey on Dutch participation in the EU Research Framework Programmes which was complied by MERIT, the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology.

In the study, MERIT utilized CORDIS information in analysing Dutch R&D and innovation involvement in EU-funded RTD projects. The report examined:

- Who are the FP 'customers' in The Netherlands?
- Do companies participate and, if so, which ones?
- Do the same organizations participate each time, or are newcomers present?
- What were the results of their participation?

To determine the answers to these questions, the Dutch government asked CORDIS. It was discovered that:

- Since 1995 a growing number of Framework Programme projects have had Dutch organizations participating in them (from 2,000 in 1995 to almost 4,000 in 1997);
- The highest number of Dutch project participants from 1988–1995 were SMEs (under 500 employees);
- However, university participants tend to be involved in several projects, unlike company (SME) participants;
- Dutch companies have strong participation in telecoms projects, yet have a very weak showing in Environment programme projects.

Next, Mr. Mario Bellardinelli, Head of the European Commission's Dissemination of Scientific and Technical Knowledge Unit (DG XIII/D-2), which manages CORDIS, presented an overview of CORDIS in terms of the Service's evolution, growth, and current usage. Mr. Bellardinelli also provided some insights into the growing role that CORDIS plays in the support of R&D and Innovation activities throughout the EU.

In his presentation, Mr. Bellardinelli noted some current figures showing growth in CORDIS usage over the past year. In May 1996, the process of offering users WWW access to the CORDIS databases began. This milestone marked the beginning of record growth for CORDIS. Evidence of this success can be seen in CORDIS user statistics. In the year since CORDIS WWW access was introduced (1 May 1996 to 30 April 1997), more users benefited from CORDIS than ever before:

- Total Visits to the CORDIS Web Site:
There were almost 4.5 million visits to the CORDIS Web site during this period. Web visits continue to grow at an increasing rate with almost 2.7 million of these visits occurring from January to April 1997;

- Active CORDIS Users:
The number of active users (not occasional 'surfer' users) who work with CORDIS at least twice a month doubled from approximately 70,000 in the '1st quarter' of this period (May-June 1996) to over 140,000 in the '4th quarter' period (February-April 1997);

- Document Downloads:
The use of CORDIS to access and download full text documents, which was introduced in December 1994, maintained its popularity with a rate of 35,000 - 50,000 documents downloaded per month. Along with saving time, this service helped to save a considerable amount of money in printing and mailing documents. A conservative estimate of these savings can be calculated as follows: 400,000 downloaded documents at an average of 20 pages each = 8 million pages. Estimating ECU .05 for printing a paper copy and ECU 2 for postage per document, an approximate savings of ECU 1.2 million was actualized by CORDIS in 1996, without counting the labour cost saving.

Source: CORDIS Information Collection Unit

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