This glossary consists of a non-exhaustive list of terms which are recurrent while addressing dissemination and exploitation issues inside programmes and activities of Education and Culture. The glossary is intended as a tool which helps actors of European programmes in the fields of lifelong learning, culture, youth, citizenship and sport, to better understand the terminology linked this subject. It is subject to periodical revisions and updates.
BENCHMARKING - BENEFICIARY - BROKERAGE - CAPITALIZE ON INVESTMENTS - COMMERCIALISATION - DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION PLAN - DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION OF RESULTS APPLIED TO MOBILITY - EVALUATION - EX-ANTE DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION - EX-POST DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION - EXPLOITATION MECHANISMS - FINAL BENEFICIARY - FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES - GOOD PRACTICE - IMPACT - INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION - INNOVATION - MONITORING - MAINSTREAMING - NEEDS ANALYSIS - RE-INVENT THE WHEEL - RESULT - SPIN-OFF EFFECTS - SUSTAINABILITY - STAKEHOLDERS - THEMATIC WORKSHOPS/THEMATIC MONITORING - TARGET GROUP - TRANSFER OF INNOVATION
A standardised method for collecting and reporting critical operational data in a way that enables relevant comparison of performances of different organisations or programmes, often with a view to establish good practice.
The beneficiaries are the individuals or organisations (users at any level, intermediaries/ multipliers, agents such as associations, regional authorities) benefiting in various ways from the implementation of the projects. In the European programmes they are also often understood as the entities receiving financial grants. (See also FINAL BENEFICIARY)
Brokerage indicates the match between supply of results and demand, e.g. the needs of the users for whom the results are meant. The aim of dissemination and exploitation of results is to facilitate a brokerage action and to make sure that the project provides an adequate answer to the needs of the target group. On the stock exchange, a broker is a party that mediates between a buyer and a seller.
Capitalising on investments entails getting benefits from the means invested in the project (return on investments). It concerns a project’s tangible and intangible outcomes, which may be exploited transferred to new users and further developed (= build upon achievements).
Commercialisation is a process of marketing the project outcome after having it transformed or not. This operation may be oriented at
Commercialisation serves as a tool to make the results sustainable after the project ends.
A plan for dissemination and exploitation indicates those activities that are going to be carried out during a project’s lifetime. The plan has to be drafted at the very beginning of a project (often at proposal stage) and must contain activities to be carried out continuously until the project’s end (and possibly afterwards). In order to develop a good dissemination and exploitation plan the promoters (or coordinators) should answer the following questions:
Additionally the dissemination and exploitation plan has to indicate:
Dissemination and exploitation of mobility concerns the results of mobility projects, which are mostly intangible in the form of experience, skills and knowledge gained by participants or beneficiaries. Some more tangible results are also seen in the form of changes to systems, organisations or companies involved in mobility projects. Mobility touches the individual as well as organisations. In this sense the definition of dissemination and exploitation of results must be adapted to such distinctive projects and outcomes. The dissemination and exploitation of mobility can be defined as:
Evaluation (at project level) is a crucial phase for projects since it allows a review and qualitative and quantitative assessment of:
Evaluation (at program level): Evaluation in the Commission is defined as a judgement of interventions according to their results, impacts and the needs they aim to satisfy.
Ex–ante dissemination and exploitation involves planning, dissemination and exploitation of results from the beginning of a project. It is based on an ex–ante needs analysis of target group towards which the project is addressed and involves interaction between the stakeholders and promoters (or coordinators) during the project. This process ensures more impact and sustainability of a project (see also DISSEMINATION AND EXPLOITATION PLAN which is based on the concept of ex-ante dissemination and exploitation).
Ex-post dissemination and exploitation is connected with the linear model of innovation*. It involves dissemination and exploitation after the project has finished, when the results have been developed and are ready to be used. In general late dissemination and exploitation of results reduces the chances for the project to have real impact. One of the forms of ex–post dissemination and exploitation is the transfer of innovation.
* In the linear model the dissemination and exploitation of results follow a more chorological pattern and takes place only at the end of a project or even after it has been completed.
Exploitation embodies the act of employing results to the greatest possible advantage. Exploitation needs appropriate mechanisms to make results more attractive for use to the target group; tailor the results to the needs of specific target groups, sectors or organisations; transfer results that could be used by new target groups or sectors; sustain results and keep them in use and existence; influence and change mainstream practice and policy.
A final beneficiary is an individual or an organisation directly positively influenced by the project outcome. Not necessarily receiving a financial grant and even not directly involved in the project, the beneficiary may exploit project outcomes for its own purposes.
In general the follow-up activities take place when the project is finished in administrative terms. Their aim is to keep results alive and sustainable. The activities could imply
A good practice is an exemplary project (including results or processes) which has positively influenced systems and practices throughout its activities and results. Consequently, good practices are worth transferring and exploiting in different contexts and environments by new users or entities.
Impact* is the effect that the project and its results have on various systems and practices. A project with impact contributes to the objectives of programmes and to the development of different European Union policies. The effective transfer and exploitation of results, together with the improvement of systems by innovation, produces positive impact.
* Project Cycle Management, Aid Delivery Methods, March 2004
At project level, information and communication concern collecting and presenting project activities, experiences, results to potentially interested users. They are aimed at increasing knowledge of the projects. In the process, various tools are used: publications, press releases, documentation, websites, expositions, conferences, videos, Video News Releases.
Innovative results are those which represent some new and distinctive features, distinguishing them from others with similar characteristic, and adding value in relation to conventional solutions.
After Making change possible. A practical guide to mainstreaming under EQUAL, p.53
(at project level)
The process involves continuous and systematic control of the project’s progress. The intention is to correct any deviation from the operational objectives and thus improve the performance. Every project should be monitored throughout its duration in order to ensure its success. Monitoring consists of supervision of activities, comparison with the work plan and using the information obtained for the improvement of the project*. During the monitoring process dissemination and exploitation activities must be carefully checked, verified and, if necessary - reoriented and adapted.
* After Grundtvig Learning Partnership Navigator, p.40
Mainstreaming is a process which enables activities to impact on policy and practice. This process includes identifying lessons, clarifying the innovative element and approach that produced the results, their dissemination, validation and transfer. More specifically, mainstreaming also defines the phase of transfer and the way in which other actors take account of the elaborated results, approaches and key elements*.
* based on the definition of mainstreaming used in EQUAL programme.
Needs analysis is a fundamental starting point in the process of dissemination and exploitation of results. Ideally, it takes place at the planning stage, before starting a project (ex-ante needs analysis). The aim is to define the needs of a target group (future beneficiaries and users of the project results) and to better orientate the project’s activities, with the objective to effectively answer these needs. The project designed and planned on the basis of needs analysis
Effective dissemination and exploitation of results prevent project promoters (or coordinators) from "re–inventing the wheel". This means that having the possibility to know, re-use, transfer and adapt the results of different finalised projects, the promoters of new ventures may perfect and develop the existing outcomes ensuring at the same time, their sustainability.
(or project outcome)
Project results* can be tangible and intangible: this affects the tools used to collect, disseminate and exploit them
Spin off effects are unexpected effects happening along the project life and that are normally considered in the ex-post evaluations.
Sustainability is the capacity of the project to continue its existence and functioning beyond its end. The project results are used and exploited continuously. Sustainability of results implies use and exploitation of results in the long term.
Individuals or institutions that may, directly or indirectly, positively or negatively, affect or be affected by a project and/or a programme. Examples of stakeholders in the activity field of education and culture: decision makers, social partners, sectoral organisations etc.
Thematic workshops (or thematic monitoring of projects) aim at creating an exchange forum for project coordinators working on the same topic. Exchange of knowledge and experience among actors involved in European cooperation projects on a specific theme is important for effective transfer of innovation and for building synergies. National agencies, experts and stakeholders/potential users of results are often associated to this kind of thematic activities in order to have a more interactive exchange among the providers of results (the projects) and those who could potentially benefit and take up such results (the users/stakeholders).
The target group concerns those who will be directly, positively affected by the project by its activities and its results. (See also FINAL BENEFICIARY)
The aim of the innovation transfer process is the adaptation and/or further development of innovative results of a project, their transfer, piloting and integration into public and/or private systems, companies, organisations at local, regional, national and/or Community level. The process has the objective of answering the needs of new target groups and users. The actors who can take part in transfer of innovations are: users at any level, intermediaries/multipliers, decision makers, etc.
The process for transferring innovative content ideally has a number of steps which go beyond simple dissemination, and which are described below:
The User is an individual or organisation which can make use/exploit or be inspired for further activities by project results.
Last updated: July 2006