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I3 Impact Innovate Invest

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - I3 (I3 Impact Innovate Invest)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-09-30

Impact Innovation Invest (i3) is a 33-month Coordination and Support Action and is dedicated to bridge the gap between research and innovation. The main goal of the project has been to coordinate efforts in the social media convergence domain, addressing how research efforts can increase outreach, improving connection within the ecosystem and raising the excellence of Convergence and Social media research outcomes.
Throughout the course of the past three years, i3 has attempted to build a better understanding of the media sector’s needs in times of convergence. It has done so through numerous actions and undertakings that have brought the team in contact with a wide range of actors that make up the media landscape. Through interacting with the sector in both structured actions and informal occasions, the team has sought to take up the specific challenge of Topic ICT19c 2015 (Convergence and Social media) of the H2020 program, which was to “Facilitate research and policy exchange in Convergence and Social Media and support R&D programmes/activities, dissemination of results and organisation of scientific and/or policy events in Convergence and Social Media.” In doing so, our approach can be highlighted by a series of activities:
Supporting media innovators (in particular, ICT 19 projects)
- By developing activities to help them commercialise: Self-Assessment Toolkit (SAT), 1-on-1 coaching, the i3 Academy (masterclass, workshops and webinars)
- By developing activities to help them fundraise: Investor readiness workshops, investor (and breakfast) meetings
- By developing activities to help them to access leading events: NEM, ARTS+, NAB, IBC

Supporting media stakeholders (in particular, ICT 19 projects)
- By developing activities to support the Impact future of media: Policy
- By activities to support them to meet other stakeholders (including all our events, such as European Parliament event, breakfast meetings, final event in Amsterdam)

Our efforts where thus directed at improving ways to establish closer relations between entrepreneurs and researchers while facilitating access to investors, mentors and policy makers.
During i3’s first year, several key activities were developed to achieve our objectives. These included: the development of a mixed methods methodology for various supporting activities such as a self-assessment tool; an engagement and stakeholder strategy, including a policy dialogue process; and a tailored dissemination strategy, that also shed light onto the i3 Academy via masterclasses, workshops and webinars. In our second year, these efforts continued and were translated into organizing more events to ‘learn and network’ but also to gather data to help us to provide better support to the ICT19 projects in their endeavours.

In i3’s final period, we have continued to work towards achieving the primary goal: to develop an integrated approach from research and innovation to market deployment in the domain of convergence and social media. In particular, i3 has worked towards developing a more (inter)active and continuous engagement with stakeholders (ICT19 projects and beyond, such as SMEs, investors and policy makers). The link-up with larger events such as Art+ and NAB (i3 competition) have proven to be very meaningful and valuable and, hence, this trajectory was developed further (such as via EU Parliament event and IBC2018 in Amsterdam) while also underpinning stakeholders to fill out the self-assessment tool.

Throughout the project’s lifetime, i3 has thus developed and deployed several mechanisms to execute its various activities: one trajectory was around ‘commercialization’ (including self-assessment tool, 1-on-1 coaching, masterclasses); a second one focused on ‘fundraising’ (including investor meetings); a third trajectory was geared towards supporting ‘access to leading events’ (such as NAB and IBC); a fourth trajectory considered the ‘impact of future media’ (policy events and policy whitepaper); and, a fifth trajectory was concerned with ‘engagement, dissemination and communication.’

In doing so, i3 has delivered initiatives and activities with the robust impact for the media and convergence ecosystem. In particular, i3 can highlight:

- The organization of three investor meetings and two competitions which allowed i3 to provide concrete opportunity to foster the business to more than 60 stakeholders active in the media sector, among projects and start-ups.

- A high-level policy meeting at the Parliament was organized (with other CSA’s) resulting in a policy whitepaper which has reached more than 250 people in the dissemination and more than 100 during oral presentations. The work has been judged as relevant by the MEP who hosted the event stating that the document will be used to influence the future discussions on the next multi-financial framework. It is also expected that the document will be used to influence the work of the NEM community.

- Regarding business amplification-related activities, the self-assessment tool has 73 registered users including start-ups. The impact from the self-assessment activities consist of the evaluation of the business ideas of the media innovators.
The i3 project set out with numerous goals in order to address the gap between research and innovation in the social media convergence domain. Through multiple activities the project has attempted to address this gap and leave a lasting impact. This can be observed in several fields and domains, which are stipulated below.

Knowledge is first and foremost at the core of offering relevant support. Through extensive knowledge gathering activities, be it through structured policy dialogue or informal conversations with industry actors, i3 has produced both documents for knowledge transfer and utilised an evidence-based approach to its activities. The resulting Whitepaper has continued to be a topic of discussion at THEARTS+ and NEM, and will continue to be a valuable reference.

The opportunities created for projects and start-ups through attendance at IBC and NAB, as well as the investor meetings in Rome, London and Brussels, have set a number of companies on the right track to bringing their products to market – be it through new network connections, knowledge transferred, or funding.

The SAT tool continues to be available for projects and start-ups to make a self-assessment, encouraging self-reflection and teaching valuable lessons to those aiming to make an impact.

The combined efforts of the project as a whole has also resulted in lessons learned about the sector as a whole, which can serve as starting points for investigation into further support actions if explored in depth.