TJW Media Blog

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Communicating Horizon 2020 research projects to society at large

An often overlooked requirement of Horizon 2020, the EU programme for Research and Innovation, is that projects must disseminate and communicate the progress and outcomes of research.

According to the definition of the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal, these two types of communications have quite different, if overlapping objectives. Dissemination is seen as communication of research among research peers (such as published papers in the case of academic research). Communication, on the other hand, (as outlined in Article 38 of EU Horizon 2020 grant agreement) obliges project consortia 'to promote the action and its results by providing targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and public, in a strategic and effective manner'.

This means communicating to wider society (that pays for the research), necessitating a communications within proposals. This requires considerably more consideration than just thinking that putting-up 'any old website will do'.

The HORIZON 2020 WORK PROGRAMME 2018-2020 Evaluation rules requires proposals to show the quality of the proposed measures to:
  • Exploit and disseminate the project results (including management of IPR), and to manage research data where relevant, and
  • Communicate project activities to different target audiences

In addition, the Participant Portal suggests communicating the details of projects to wider society provides significant benefits to Horizon 2020 projects, for instance by providing opportunities to:
  • Share successes - providing a positive contribution to the project
  • Show the benefits to society
  • To sell the benefits of the research (of wider interest to the institutions involved)
  • To help gain future funding
  • Assist communications among geographically dispersed partners


TJW Media (employed by University of Surrey) is currently engaged in communicating the Horizon 2020 CANDID Research and Innovation project that's addressing the challenge set by ICT-35-2016 : Enabling responsible ICT-related research and innovation, designed to make sure that technological innovations, in this case ‘smart technologies and systems’, are developed with societal needs and expectations in mind.
This exciting interdisciplinary project is nearing its conclusion; so check out Progress (dissemination) and News of engagement and other activities that explains the activities and developments of the project (communications to society).

See the Archive page for the latest reports of events and milestones of the CANDID project, as well as interviews with researchers the are currently developing ways for developers of smart technologies better consider the needs of society, such as considering risks regarding data protection.

A summary of this blog post was presented at the KTN Horizon 2020 Smart, Green and Integrated Transport networking event at ICC Birmingham on 31 October 2017. The complete slide deck, which includes slides from Innovate UK, and pitch slides from other organisations who attended, is available to download via Dropbox.

Content marketing for Digital Engineering Technical Centre

I've started doing some content marketing consultancy work for Digital Engineering Technical Centre (DETC), a centre of excellence that develops and promotes use of virtual engineering to accelerate the development, test and manufacture of automotive propulsion systems.
DETC is hosted by HSSMI Ltd and located within the Loughborough University London Campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

So far, I've helped fine tune its monthly newsletter and promoted DETC's presence at the VR Show 2017 at the Business Design Centre, Islington - See DETC challenges the gaming industry to disrupt the automotive software market at VR Show 2017.

Last week I was taken for a ride in two driverless cars

OK. So they're both actually driving robots, that follow a course guided by GPS, used to test systems that could be used for driverless cars - but in the controlled environment of a go-cart track they can, as Paul Fleck states, "drive by themselves all day long".

Here's couple of iPhone quick videos taken from the back seats of not one but two driverless cars, demonstrated at the Sense Media Self-Driving Track Day at Sundown Park Esher on 25 April.

The first features AB Dynamics' robot drive fitted to a SEAT as demonstrated by the company's Senior Systems Engineer Richard Simpson.

According to its website, ABD's Path Following system, enables "robots to guide the vehicle along a pre-defined path with the vehicle's position, speed and time along the path all precisely controlled. The vehicle's position feedback is provided by a 2cm-accurate GPS-corrected motion pack. ABD's Duramon software can be used to monitor the vehicle's condition. High-speed wireless telemetry enables the user to supervise the vehicle from a suitable base-station beside the track."

The second features the Dataspeed ADAS development vehicle kit, as demonstrated by its founder and CEO Paul Fleck in a modified Ford Fusion sedan.

On its ADAS Kit page the company states. "Our ADAS Kit is a complete hardware and software solution that allows seamless control of throttle, brake, steering, and shifting. It also allows you to control the sensors and computers while accessing data on vehicle networks."

See more in the video below:


Picture of the Week in The Bookseller

One of a set of images taken for Summersdale Publications' launch of Set Free featured as the feature image in The Bookseller's Pictures of the Week.

Buddhist nun Emma Slade signed copies of her new book Set Free at The Yoga Studio, Harbledown, Kent, on Thursday 12 April.

The full gallery of images can be seen on my Flickr gallery: Emma Slade book launch.

Promoting the European Horizon 2020 "MEnS" project update event

Delivering a European Portable Building Energy Performance Skills Platform; a MEnS project update
MEns (Meeting of Energy Professional Skills) - or 'Delivering a European Portable Building Energy Performance Skills Platform' - is a European Horizon 2020 project led by Daniel Melandri.

A progress and coordination meeting was held today in London; at which I produced the photography, assisted event networking, and will be producing a coordinating summary.

You van view a gallery of the event on Flickr.

It was encouraging to see such excitement among building professionals foe earning meaningful qualifications for designing and realising near zero energy buildings in the pilot training courses outlined in the workshop.

So it will be interesting how the project can help scale-up courses to provide a career advantage within the building sector across Europe.

For more details about the project, contact the MEnS project coordinator Daniela Melandri.

Final report on Retrofit for the Future

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), that together with Energy Saving Trust, funded the Retrofit For the Future programme and the accompanying blogging network managed by TJW Media called Retrofit Diaries, has published its final report on the two year programme.

According to the TSB ‘Retrofit for the Future' showed that the retrofit industry in the UK can deliver deep carbon reductions with existing technologies and practices without compromising the comfort of residents.

The report, based upon analysis of 100 homes across the UK, showed a strong correlation between good air-tightness and lower CO2 emissions and identified practical considerations for more effective retrofitting in the future.

The project was designed to address the challenge laid down by the UK Government's target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. By analysing data from over a third of the properties the report identifies the CO2 emission reductions achieved by each project initiative.

Retrofit for the Future catalysed the retrofit of over 100 homes across the UK, with an ambition of achieving an 80% reduction in the in-use CO2 emissions of each property. Coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board , the Retrofit for the Future competition encouraged collaboration between housing providers, designers, contractors and researchers, and has helped to stimulate new business opportunities in the retrofit market.

Retrofit Diaries was a network of over 100 websites for project participants to record the progress of their retrofit builds - that achieved 100% uptime for the two year duration of the project and was user-friendly in way for builders, architects and project managers that was not achievable should they had been forced to use TSB’s own _connect platform.

Extracts from some of the more revealing Retrofit Diaries have since been archived by the Energy Saving Trust.

A feature on the TSB Innovation in Action section of its site, reported that many small companies have grown significantly as a result, and in several cases they have been able to take innovative products or processes to market after demonstrating their effectiveness through Retrofit for the Future.