I had a positive experience when using research roadmapping to kickstart an innovation network. Before we had one, we had to look into the challenges of a single company one project at a time. Once we had developed a roadmap, a pool of both companies and academics motivated to partner up once public funding became available. Today the second and final part of this blog post. Part one can be found here.
Meeting 2: Presentation of the research roadmapping exercise
Before the second meeting, we then distributed the outcome of the roadmapping exercise amongst academics and companies alike, together with a cordial invitation for the next meeting. For everybody’s convenience, we had planned this meeting just before a conference most would attend anyhow. We were happy to see that a few more people attended our second meeting.
At this meeting we presented (again) the outcome of the roadmapping exercise, and verified the interest of both companies and academics. Only this way we, as a group, could decide together which topics we would focus on. By deciding together, we obtained both the required mandate, and the motivation of the participants. At the end of this brief meeting, we made a promise to arrange for a third meeting only once funding opportunities had arisen. We asked the company participants to arrange the permissions to make the required financial contributions to the upcoming research projects.
Meeting 3: Executing the research roadmap
At the third meeting we proposed to submit proposals to two calls set out by the European Commission. The calls were of the type FP7 LARGE. This meant that they were about 15 million euros each. Half of the budget was to be funded by the European Commission, the other half was to be funded by the companies participating.
The participants at the meeting confirmed sufficient interest for both calls. We then divided the meeting into two sub-sessions, each dedicated to one of the calls. At the sub-sessions, discussions took place on the broad outline of the proposal, the roles of the participants, on the coordination of the further development of the proposal. Eventually, both proposals were submitted.
Through these three meetings, we were able to bring company challenges, academic solutions, and government funding together. We were able to motivate the participants in the network we thus created to collaboratively work on solutions to societal challenges. Government funding for these challenges was key to focussing the participants.
If you plan a roadmapping exercise, I hope this small guide can help you. I take an interest in any questions you may have, and would be happy to answer.
If you allow me, I would be happy to discuss if I may offer my skilled support.