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FEED — Result In Brief

Project ID: 222747
Funded under: FP7-INCO

Feasting on the success of Australian–European collaboration

An extension project to a long-term cooperation between Australia and Europe has maximised opportunities for collaboration. An EU-funded project achieved this by seeking out evidence-based answers to major questions about collaboration.
Feasting on the success of Australian–European collaboration
FEAST (Forum for European–Australian Science and Technology cooperation) is a collaboration initiative, partially funded by the EU, ongoing since 2002. Based at the Australian National University (ANU), it facilitates effective research cooperation between Australia and Europe on behalf of the entire Australian research community.

Extending the role of FEAST, the EU-funded project, 'FEAST extension, enhancement and demonstration project' (FEED) began in May 2008. This marked a significant new phase in FEAST's role which was to enhance cooperation between Australia and Europe via evidence-based answers to certain key questions concerning collaboration. The overall project objective was to maximise the likelihood that potential opportunities for collaboration with Europe would be effectively utilised. During the project's life, FEED delivered numerous innovations in the way that FEAST fulfils its role.

Partners undertook bibliographic studies, highlighting areas of opportunity for international collaboration and developing tools for policymakers. These studies, the most significant outcome of the project, resulted in three discussion papers assessing Australia's research growth and collaboration.

Story-driven surveys were carried out to examine core motivators for international collaboration, highlighting the most effective means of engagement. These used interviews to assess Australian researchers' responses to collaboration and to draw larger conclusions. This sub-study yielded a list of best practice methods for Australian participants.

Discussion papers and opinion editorials were produced, informing and educating key policymakers. Several discussion papers have been cited by significant international organisations.

Purpose-specific partnerships delivered workshops targeted across the whole research environment. The project developed a series of workshops in conjunction with the Australasian Research Management Society, focusing on delivering information to key research administrators.

Activities were also focused on interoperability: reducing the costs and risks of research via participation in combined efforts. The project organised discussions, particularly a symposium, to help overcome administrative barriers to joint participation and to propose a list of simple solutions.

Two key impacts arose from FEED: the tools and results developed within the project, and support for researchers engaging with the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project is regarded as a success, and its legacy will be simpler and more productive Australian–European collaboration.

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