This guide has been drafted to help project managers working on Commission-funded projects to maximise the value and impact of their project results.
Readers will find plenty of practical advice on a host of interrelated issues – from understanding what dissemination and exploitation actually means through to creating strategies and products that showcase project results to their best advantage.
The importance of dissemination and exploitation
Simply put, there is not much point to implementing a project if its results stay hidden from potential users. Policy communities and those at the sharp end of education provision rely on experimental projects to improve their decision-making and to shed light on new approaches. Good projects not only come up with valuable information, they also work hard to transmit their findings to their target audience and, if necessary, the wider education community.
It is vital that end-users are catered for as an integral part of the project process through the use of imaginative and thorough dissemination and exploitation strategies. What is more, a robust approach to the dissemination and exploitation of results is a pre-requisite for projects that want to attract EU funding.
Of course getting dissemination and exploitation right is a challenge. Commission-backed projects are often complex, multi-partnered and international in nature. Sometimes even experienced project managers can make mistakes at the planning or execution stage.
That is why we have published this guide. It describes the dissemination and exploitation process and mechanisms in detail. It provides clear definitions of the two concepts and how they complement each other. There is a great deal of information on offer about the different tools that are now available to disseminate and exploit project results, such as the use of publications, websites, mailing lists, conferences, workshops, e-forums, etc. The relative strengths and weaknesses of these tools are explored in relation to the type of outputs projects generate.
A comprehensive approach
There is a lot of practical advice about how to develop effective dissemination and exploitation strategies, and the guide includes plenty of interesting case studies that will inspire project managers.
The guide also takes readers through the different types of results that can be generated by a Commission-funded project - essentially defined here as products, methods, experiences, policy lessons and European co-operation. Each needs a subtly different approach to dissemination and exploitation, and these issues are explored in great detail.
The guide also offers useful tips for identifying and servicing potential end-users by exploring how best to understand their characteristics and needs.
Other chapters deal with project house-keeping - for example who is responsible for what when it comes to dissemination and exploitation of EU-backed projects - and there is also a section on where to find further help and information, along with an exploration of legal and policy issues.