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IConnectEU - Developing and testing a model for integrated dissemination of outcomes from complementary research projects

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Making connections among research projects

A novel EU-funded initiative developed an integrated platform pooling together complementary researchers, projects and results within a specific field to facilitate collaboration and networking as well as dissemination of results to target groups such as policymakers and the general public.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy

Scientific research encompasses innumerable fields and subfields and interconnections among and between them. Researchers are more and more pressed to understand and assimilate a tremendous amount of previous research in order to focus their grants and studies in areas not yet fully developed. In addition, the scientific community relies on dissemination of results for furthering careers, for effecting changes in government policies and for reaching a broader public. The ‘IConnectEU - Developing and testing a model for integrated dissemination of outcomes from complementary research projects’ (IConnectEU) project was designed to develop a platform for disseminating research outcomes in a way that considers information within a project as well as inter-relationships across project boundaries. The investigators developed the platform based on previously existing software enabling tremendous efficiency and flexibility at a fraction of the cost of custom-designed software. The investigators chose to make a pilot study to test feasibility and cost using eight projects related to governance in the EU. The eight coordinating institutions agreed to be responsible for uploading to the platform all relevant information related to their projects, including researchers and institutions involved, project details, results to date and relevant publications and presentations. The information on the pilot Internet portal here will be integrated into significant national and international field-specific and general scientific databases, increasing visibility of EU-funded projects and enabling the portal contents to show up in Web search results visible to any Internet user. In addition, the software infrastructure is freely available as open-source software on the web. Reuse of the infrastructure for other fields represents tremendous cost-savings to the EU and its research programmes and frees up money to be used to fund the actual research. Finally, the platform enables monitoring of trends in specific areas, which is of critical importance to researchers, policymakers, the media and an informed public. In conclusion, the IConnectEU made a very significant contribution to the organisation, assimilation and dissemination of information related to European research projects. The result should increase networking and collaboration as well as help to focus research projects – initiatives which promise to enhance European research and competitiveness in the future.

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