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Network spreads word on EU-funded bioeconomy research to Europeans

An EU initiative set up a vast network of European science communicators to ensure food-related research does the most good by reaching out to inform the general public and other target groups.
Network spreads word on EU-funded bioeconomy research to Europeans
Much scientific research intended to inform decision makers, and/or the public, does not reach its intended audience. Helping to facilitate this transfer was the EU-funded project COMMFABNET (Communication of food, fisheries, agriculture and biotechnologies research – A network to support EU-funded research projects).

Overall, the aim was to establish a large network of communication officers and managers, each involved in food-related research funded by the EU. To boost visibility, targeted emails and 21 monthly e-newsletters promoted various initiatives, including 16 webinars, 9 training sessions for scientists and dedicated events. A user-friendly form was also developed to increase membership.

The network grew to incorporate projects in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and biotechnologies, namely the 'Food, agriculture, fisheries and biotechnology' (FAB) programme. By the end of the project, the network totalled 730 registered members and included 166 knowledge-based bioeconomy (KBBE) projects. Over 3 000 food scientists are currently involved in the extended network.

To address industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, and policymakers, the project held a series of business and policy dialogues, a bioeconomy forum and a final COMMFABNET conference. In addition, Innovation Catalogues were produced during the 2013-2014 period that contain case studies on over 40 projects. Nine video news releases and 80 articles on KBBE projects targeting the general public were published and distributed.

With respect to education, a FAB toolkit containing student and teacher resources was created, 6 educational videos on bioeconomy were developed and 11 e-seminars for teachers were held. An awards scheme was also launched to recognise excellence in the communication of KBBE research.

COMMFABNET enhanced the channels of communication flow among the necessary stakeholders, helping to foster European business and innovation. It should raise the quality of life of EU citizens, and help improve European competitiveness through innovation.

Related information

Keywords

Bioeconomy, food-related research, fisheries, agriculture, knowledge-based bioeconomy
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