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Creating effects through communication and engagement in Future and Emerging Technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EFFECT (Creating effects through communication and engagement in Future and Emerging Technologies)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31

FET acts as an incubator of new ideas that have long-term goals and high-risk research outputs. FET projects cover a wide-range of cutting edge scientific and technical disciplines with long-term impacts. One of the key objectives of FET is to provide maximum communication and outreach to a wide range of audiences represented by the general public and other societal players such as investors, businesses, policy makers to: enhance knowledge transfer and raise visibility on FET technological innovation and scientific leadership in research & innovation ecosystems.

To achieve the above strategic goal and specific objectives, EFFECT:
a. Screens sources, research projects and results on FET from FP7 and H2020 and other relevant EU related initiatives in order to identify and select the stories that are most interesting to be communicated in videos, articles and interviews and to be used as a source of public debate and engagement.
b. Develops and distributes dedicated contents in various formats for different communication channels and audiences and reformulates already existing communication contents covering most innovative and media-appealing results exploiting web, social and TV media to enhance visibility and impact of FET research in society as a whole.
c. Stimulates public debate, collaborative learning, networking and engagement among multiple players of the FET domain, through the organization of Meet & Match and brokerage events; policy-oriented workshops; webinars aimed to the on-going and newly funded FET projects to support capacity building in public communication and engagement; general public campaigns.
d. Monitors the efficacy of the distribution mechanisms, measures and assesses the overall impacts generated by the project.
The main objective of the second year of activity of the project was to implement and reinforce the communication and engagement strategy of the EFFECT project, based on the results and experiences collected during the first reporting period. The results of the project can be summarized as follows:
a. The completion of the screening activity based on a database of FET projects from FP7 and H2020 according to specific criteria defined by the project. The specific goal of this activity was to analyze sources, research projects and results from FET from FP7 and H2020 and to get in touch with projects to better investigate and understand their results from a communication perspective.
b. The completion of the editorial production across all communication formats considered by the project (articles, videos, video interview, news releases, multimedia storytelling slideshow) and its broad distribution through the web, social and TV media to increase outreach and engagement around FET research and impacts. This was based on the definition of the editorial strategy.
c. The further implementation of the project’s editorial strategy, based on three main pillars: i) The Editorial Plan, providing the guidelines of the editorial production and scheduling the publication of the project’s original content; ii) the FETFX platform, serving as the project’s main communication and distribution channel; iii) the EFFECT social media communication and animation, spreading the editorial contents, increasing the societal uptake of the FET research lines and building an interested and engaged community around FET.
d. The organization of engagement activities to stimulate public debate, collaborative learning and networking among multiple FET stakeholders. They included the organization of: i) a parallel session “Business and Entrepreneurship in Disruptive Science” at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), ii) a policy event at the European Parliament: “European Leadership through Disruptive Technologies: Future and Emerging Technologies towards 2030” and the policy workshop “FET Innovation ecosystems: Regional support for a European Impact”, iii) a second webinar to enhance civil engagement capacity of the FET research and innovation community, iv) the support to FET projects organizing public engagement activities during the European Researchers’ Night.
e. The final assessment of the overall impacts generated by the project’s communication and engagement activities during its lifetime. The analysis was based on quantitative outreach and engagement indicators collected through online monitoring activities, as well as on qualitative indicators assessing those activities that are not measurable and/or cannot be easily expressed numerically.
The EFFECT team worked on the definition of the indicators, developed a more refined researchon the Community Engagement Index and performed regular monitoring and analyses of all the contents distributed via the FETFX’s channels.

The analysis assesses the impacts of EFFECT’s online and offline communication and engagement activities. In particular, it compares the performance of the various online activities in terms of adopted editorial format, thematic area and channels. It provides the CEI values of the various publications and compares them to identify the most engaging and reaching products.

Considering all these aspects, EFFECT made a relevant impact on the FET community and beyond, reaching more than 250,000 online users and engaging more than 23,000 through a tailored strategy encompassing all potential stakeholders with its editorial productions. Considering the overall communication and engagement efforts, not only related to the specific editorial publications, approximately 9,000 users accessed the website over the 18 months since its launch. Social media interactions constantly increased with an estimated total outreach on Twitter of more than 4.5 million and 4,500 views on YouTube. Hundreds of people from diversified audiences (civil society, policy makers, key innovation stakeholders, industries and researchers) were reached through off-line engagement activities.

The EFFECT team collected data relative to TV take-ups via the Eurovision News Feed and the mediacenter. At the end of the second reporting period, the VNR on ASSISIbf was downloaded by 8 TV channels from 6 countries and led to 12 tracked broadcasts/publications. The VNR on Levitate was downloaded by 9 TV channels from 9 countries and led to 4 tracked broadcasts/publications.

Finally, a set of events, workshops and community building activities - such as webinars and European Researchers’ Night supporting measures - have been organized throughout the project with diverse goals and audiences.The different events were monitored using different indicators. Quantitative indicators were used to assess the size of the audience of EFFECT messages in terms of FET funded projects’ involvement, its geographic coverage and the relevance of the target audience in terms of gender balance participation. Qualitative indicators were used to assess those activities that are not measurable and/or cannot be easily expressed numerically. They were typically based on feedback from participants (via direct interviews or feedback forms).

The integration between outreach data, online engagement and qualitative stakeholders’ feedbacks constituted the basis for an integrated analysis of the impacts generated by the project activities.
EFFECT website snapshot
A FET project card
A FET project card