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Dialogues on ICT to Support COoperation Ventures and Europe-North AmeRica (Canada and USA) sYnergies

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DISCOVERY (Dialogues on ICT to Support COoperation Ventures and Europe-North AmeRica (Canada and USA) sYnergies)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

"The mission of the DISCOVERY project is to support dialogues between Europe and North America (both the US and Canada) and foster cooperation in collaborative ICT Research and Innovation under Horizon 2020 and US and Canadian funding programmes. The project also aims to stimulate innovation partnerships among industry, research and academia by reinforcing helpful networking and by providing an original partner search tool that DISCOVERY members have designed.

Alongside the organisation of the ICT Discovery Labs and capacity-building Workshops throughout the two-year implementation of DISCOVERY, the project’s inventive vision has been to promote bi-regional collaboration in ICT priority areas of strategic interest. Through the successful implementation of the cornerstone of the DISCOVERY project - the Transatlantic ICT Forum and Workshop - a critical foundation of the project’s over-arching goals has been constructed and will be sustained well beyond the life of the grant.

To accomplish our mission, we are working on the following specific objectives:

Objective 1. To create the Transatlantic ICT Forum as a sustainable mechanism to support dialogues for EU-North America cooperation in the field of ICT.
Objective 2. To synchronize project events with EU-US and EU-Canada dialogue meetings and ICT-related events.
Objective 3. To set up DISCOVERY ""Doorknock"" outreach to relevant US and Canada funding programmes supporting ICT R&I collaboration.
Objective 4. To identify ICT priorities of common interest and mutual benefit for EU-North America cooperation.
Objective 5. To identify obstacles to participate in ICT R&I collaborative projects and mitigation steps to remove the obstacles.
Objective 6. To enhance innovation partnerships for EU-North America collaboration in ICT R&I projects, involving the industry, research and academia stakeholders.
Objective 7. To increase visibility of the project outcomes and raise awareness of opportunities for ICT R&I cooperation and partnership building between Europe, the US and Canada.
Major achievements of DISCOVERY during the first year of the project have been:

1. The Transatlantic ICT Forum
The Forum has been firmly established as a unique platform to benefit policy debate and provide expert opinions and recommendations related to transatlantic dialogues for ICT R&I cooperation between Europe and North America. The Transatlantic ICT Forum focuses on three key thematic areas in ICT: funding mechanisms for ICT R&I, ICT policy and regulations, and cybersecurity. In each area, a Working Group has been set up to advise the project team in the production of Input Papers, to be published and presented to EU-North America policy dialogue stakeholders in the field of ICT. Well over 40 professionals with highly-relevant credentials in the project’s subject matter areas are dedicated members of the Transatlantic ICT Forum.

2. Events with meaningful impact
The Transatlantic ICT Forum Workshop held in Brussels in November 16-17 2016 attracted 26 influential speakers from the ICT arena representing Europe, the US and Canada and stimulated the attendance of around 50 participants from 14 countries. This welcoming international setting was fashioned to elicit the highest degree of thoughtful discussion and generation of results. The 2-day event showcased the strong momentum in transatlantic cooperation now underway through the efforts of DISCOVERY in the field of ICT research and innovation.

Furthermore, DISCOVERY organised other three major events in 2016, co-located with relevant ICT events: Capacity-building Workshop Canada, Toronto, 8 July 2016, co-located with SAVI Annual General Meeting; Roundtable Digital Health at University of North Carolina, 6 October 2016, jointly with the German Center for Research and Innovation NYC; ICT Discovery Lab Canada, Toronto, 13-14 October 2016, jointly with the DEEP 2016 conference.

3. Identified ICT R&I priorities for Europe and North America cooperation
Based on the mapping of the landscape of ICT collaboration and the survey conducted by the DISCOVERY project in Europe, the US and Canada, we have identified ICT priority areas and topics for future cooperation in ICT R&I between Europe and North America. The results of the survey underline the relevance of privacy and data protection, cybersecurity, IoT, Big Data, smart cities, eHealth and cloud computing for EU-North America cooperation in ICT R&I .

4. Parner Search Tool
The project has set up a dedicated partner search tool that is accessible from the DISCOVERY website and as an Android Mobile Application, which is available on the Google play store to download. The DISCOVERY partners search tool is an OpenStack based tool, comprising a repository and database acting as a matchmaker tool targeting ICT and tailored to industry and business wishing to find partners in specific search domains for EU-North America collaboration projects.
To secure a wide impact of the project results, we have put in place an impact-driven dissemination strategy that has been implemented since the beginning of the project. This strategy aims to raise awareness, promote understanding and generate engagement with the target groups throughout the project lifecycle, thus fostering the up-take of the project outcomes.

During the first year of the project, the project events and third party events attended by the partners in Europe, the US and Canada have been of the utmost importance to promote DISCOVERY, the Transatlantic ICT Forum and thematic Working Groups and further amplify the impact of the project, as policy makers, researchers and industry leaders attending these events have been encouraged to serve as “ambassadors” and spokespeople to spread awareness about DISCOVERY in their respective political, research and business communities.

In 2016 DISCOVERY organised 10 workshops, 3 in Europe, 2 in Canada and 5 in the US. The Transatlantic ICT Forum Workshop held in Brussels, the Capacity Building Workshop in Toronto, the ICT Discovery Lab in Toronto and the Digital Health Roundtable in Chapel Hill are identified as the four major project events, as they allow establishing important connections with more than 1.100 influential policy makers, researchers and business leaders from both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, DISCOVERY partners also participated in 24 relevant workshops and conferences in the field of ICT organised by third parties, totalling 15 in Europe, 7 in the US and 2 in Canada. Altogether, these events and the buzz generated by the partners and participants have contributed to expand the DISCOVERY network, increase engagement with target groups, recruit more members for the Transatlantic ICT Forum, and boost the visibility of the project activities and Working Groups on ICT policy and regulations, funding mechanisms and cybersecurity.
Moreover, all the offline activities are corresponded with online promotion through digital channels, such as the project website and social media networks, which have led to the establishment of a consolidated DISCOVERY online community. This community is based on DISCOVERY online website platform and extended through wide DISCOVERY social media networks composed of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook page.
Furthermore, the project impact will be further secured by dissemination plan for project assets in 2017 to achieve the expected impacts.
Transatlantic ICT Forum