Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport


   Countries

Last Update: 03-12-2013  
Related category(ies):
Success stories  |  Research policy  |  Science in society

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Ireland  |  Portugal
Add to PDF "basket"

Active knowledge transfer to boost marine research impact

The European Commission has invested more than €2.6 billion funding in almost 1,300 projects related to marine research during its 6th and 7th Framework Programmes (FP). Its investment in marine development and conservation is undeniable.

© zeamonkeyimages  - Fotolia.com
© Irochka - Fotolia.com

"What is heartening is just how much good marine research is being done in the European Union (EU)," says David Murphy from the knowledge management company, AquaTT, in Ireland. "What is disheartening is that some projects fail to clear the last hurdle," he adds. This last hurdle is knowledge transfer, a process which goes beyond the dissemination of results, to also incorporate feedback and measure the impact of shared knowledge.

To rectify this pitfall, the EU funded a two-year knowledge management programme called MarineTT, which started in 2010. AquaTT from Ireland and EurOcean from Portugal collaborated on the project. MarineTT's purpose was to develop new tools to unlock the full potential of EU-funded marine research.

"We examined FP6 and FP7 marine research projects to see whether their knowledge outputs could have an application for different end-users, including policy, environmental management and industry," says Murphy, who coordinated the project.

The first step of MarineTT was to survey over 500 marine-related projects. All projects that responded were then examined in terms of what their potential impact could be after successful knowledge transfer. Lastly, a smaller number of case study projects were selected for knowledge transfer to policy and industry decision-makers to test the methodology.

According to Murphy, a trained marine biologist, scientists are proficient at communicating their findings to each other. In fact, all FP6 and FP7 projects publish results as part of protocol. However, Murphy feels "the strategy for communicating results to non-scientific users is often not developed enough", resulting in publications that are only digestible to a slim portion of society. Furthermore, too often project communication is purely one-sided, in that it is simply a publication of findings.

"In MarineTT we really tried to make clear that knowledge transfer is not a one-way, one-size fits all approach," explains Murphy. A major finding was how little scientists understood the potential application of their knowledge, where it fit into the value chain and how to go about engaging with stakeholders. "MarineTT promoted a tailor-made approach to knowledge transfer," says Murphy. Its purpose was to convince researchers to think about who can use the knowledge they are developing, and teach how to best approach interested parties and present results so that they appeal to readers.

There are also times when scientists do correctly identify which sector would be interested in their research, but then fail to broaden their focus. An example of this was a group of researchers who developed an early detection technology for the harmful algal bloom in Italy. It took MarineTT to bring this technology beyond Italian borders. In addition, MarineTT recorded seven other FP6 and FP7 projects related to harmful algal blooms, leading Murphy to wonder: "if there had been more interaction between these projects, would their outcomes have been more cohesive and innovative?"

MarineTT project developed a knowledge gate, which lists information gathered during a project. "Over 500 knowledge outputs from 128 marine projects are in our knowledge gate already. It is open to all stakeholders, enables transparency and will hopefully reduce duplication," explains Murphy.

The MarineTT project finished in 2012. Yet its legacy lives on thanks to the team's commitment. "We really believe in our approach so we are currently developing guidelines for researchers to help them identify the best knowledge transfer strategy," says Murphy. Murphy believes that once these guidelines are developed, researchers will use them. "Our hope is that – also thanks to our project – the current shift towards science having a bigger impact on industry, policy and society will continue to gain momentum," he concludes.

Project details

  • Project acronym: MARINE TT
  • Participants: Ireland (Coordinator), Portugal
  • FP7 Proj. N° 244164
  • Total costs: € 871 336
  • EU contribution: € 782 000
  • Duration: February 2010 - July 2012

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Project web site

Project information on CORDIS

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center