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A Networked and IT-enabled Firm's Perspective on Crisis Management

Final Report Summary - NITIMESR (A Networked and IT-enabled Firm's Perspective on Crisis Management)

NITIMesr – A Networked and IT-enabled Firm´s Perspective on Crisis Management – is a FP7 Marie Curie Action Initial Training Network. It is coordinated by Center for Technology and Innovation Management, Leiden, The Netherlands. NITIMesr involves 7 participants and 6 associated partners from 5 countries across Europe. The project started on October 1st, 2012 and continued for the duration of four years until September 30th, 2016.

NITIMesr has addressed five objectives, which integrate the scientific and the educational program of the project:
1. A highly motivated group of early career researchers and experienced researchers have collaborated in the production of knowledge and its application to the crisis management sector. (PO1)
2. They have delivered high quality research outputs with impact on scholarly knowledge, policy and practice. (PO2)
3. Recommendations for crisis management to security policy makers, crisis managers, industrial solution providers and academics have been developed. (PO 3)
4. NITIM has become a long-term open research and training collaboration between, but not limited to the involved core-partners, including representatives of the security clusters. (PO 4)
5. The results of NITIMesr address the key challenges “safety and security” for the domain of crisis management. (PO 5)

Work performed within the project:
1 Developing and synthesizing knowledge
The three volume Handbook on Networks in Innovation and Crisis management: Theory and Practice in a Dynamic and Disruptive Environment codifies, aligns and disseminates research results that focus on the phenomena of network formation and evolution, the decision support and decision-making, as well as the modelling and planning aimed at coordination of network actors - organizations or individuals – in crisis management.

2 eLearning modules
12 online e-learning modules have been developed and published. They provide insights into the fellows’ research and facilitate the transfer of knowledge in an easily accessible format (short videos) to a wide audience.

3 Career paths
Throughout three career events (Barcelona, Trondheim, The Hague), NITIMesr has reached out to a diverse group of individuals and institutions to explore different career paths and challenges in the crisis management domain. Critical career issues have been identified and documented.

4 ITN educational model, schools, workshops and training activities
NITIMesr has further developed and refined a distinctive, collaborative education and training model based on prior experience of the NITIM Graduate School. The Winter and Summer Schools provided unique international and interdisciplinary learning opportunities for ESRs, ERs and faculty. They have been designed to facilitate a high level of ownership of the fellows and intense consultative processes between the participants. The Schools have succeeded to attract PhD candidates and faculty from outside NITIMesr, which has added to the international and interdisciplinary dimension of the learning experience.
The Schools have been complemented by regional learning cycles, secondments at other academic institutions or field sites and extensive co-supervision.
In addition, NITIMesr has offered a range of thematically and skilled-oriented workshops and local courses at the partner universities, including trainings for videotaping teaching modules, design thinking, and online collaboration infrastructure.

5 Community building, networking and ITN conference
Faculty members from partner and non-partner universities (TU Delft, University of Washington, USP Brazil, Hochschule Konstanz) have volunteered to supervise fellows. A number of new associate partners have joined NITIMesr in order to host fellows for secondments.
NITIMesr fellows and faculty actively participated (on the organizing board, as track chairs etc.) in established conferences such as ISCRAM and ICE, which thereby also became vehicles of collaboration and dissemination.
Throughout the project a significant collaboration network with institutions across the globe (e.g. Oxford Internet Institute, Universities of Washington, Delaware, Nevada, Purdue, Raleigh, Portland, Stanford, Manila, QUT) has been built.
Mutual collaboration with the Munich and The Hague Security clusters, and the ERCIS Competence Center for Crisis Management highlight the connected nature of the research and the development of structures for a lasting impact. NITIMesr has organized a final conference in The Hague in September 2016.

6 Main scientific results achieved
Research in NITIMesr
1 explored the linkages of innovation and crisis management:
• Impact of business incubators on new ventures’ success in the realm of crisis management
• Innovation as organizational crisis: how SMEs identify, assimilate and utilize external useful knowledge to promote internal innovation and sustainability in a dynamic environment
• Improving responsiveness in product development
2 took a human centered approach to identify effective modes of disaster response:
• Improvisation and Goal Sustenance among Disaster Critical Organizations in Extreme Environments
• Human centered design for information systems supporting disaster preparedness and response work
• Understanding effective ways of community engagement: A study of the NGOs implementing disaster aid
3 demonstrated the need and potential for innovation in collaboration, governance and IT for crisis response:
• Crisis information management at the intersection of UN OCHA and Virtual and Technical (Volunteer) Communities
• Potential of Collaborative Mapping for Crisis Management Domain
• Partnerships and inter-organizational relationships in the Emergency Service sector
• Assessment of the use of social media technologies by police forces across the United Kingdom
4 developed formal modelling approaches to understand and respond to critical issues in crisis management:
• Analyzing network governed structures in crisis response operations in order to improve coordination and resource management using network based discrete time analysis methods.
• The use of Computational Networks and Complex Information Systems for Crisis Management in Networks, Information Technology and Innovation Management
• Dynamic interdependency models for cybersecurity of critical infrastructures
• Security Threat Analysis: Machine Learning for threat detection, identification and classification of threats and cyber crisis situations