Background Research within product development, production, and engineering management has long traditions of close connections between industry and academia in Sweden. Since the mid‐nineties these areas have been among the strategically selected for public funding by the Strategic Research Foundation, SSF, through the programs IMIE, ENDREA, EPROPER, PROPER, ProViking, and ProEnviro, programmes that together with industry have invested more than 200 million Euro over the last decade. Industry has played an important role in defining research areas and participating in research projects. Yet, research results are difficult to make known and useful to others then participants. Therefore, a radically new way of communicating results were initiated in 2002. It includes a national "Research Tour" with about ten session per year all over Sweden, and a supporting website developed dynamically with content and classification in keywords added from participating researchers.

Objective The objective of this work is to describe and evaluate the research result dissemination methods developed by SSF programs in product realization field during 2002‐2007, and suggest a model for future work.

Method Methodologically, the study is conducted as action research, where the authors have taken part in the project management between 2002 and 2007. Interviews and survey results are reported on.

Results and Conclusions This initiative has faced several challenges. Both target groups, ie researchers (professors, post docs, PhD students and alumni researchers) and industry people (in manufacturing, product development, innovation and business development), are very busy people, and have not much time to participate in activities beside their current projects. Both time and money are hard to find for this kind of activities. Especially at the end of a research program, when results are available for communication, researchers tend to be busy with new projects.

Therefore, incorporating research result communication activities in other activities, and to team up with the right partners in industry and with mediator roles in between academy and industry, have been a success factors in this work. More then 100 researchers are actively presenting their research, and more then 1000 company representatives have participated over the five years. Open source development philosophy has characterized the technological development, at comparably low cost and high stability.

An increasing number of researchers presenting their results at seminars and at the web site, and an increasing number of web site visit indicate a common interest for this kind of communication media.

Face‐to‐face meetings need to be prioritized, and the web site is primarily regarded a support for that. Spin‐off effects of the web site are that researchers more easily find each other's research, and also that research networks can be maintained even though as many as 80% of all graduated PhD students today are working in industry.

Moreover, to promote content and review process with a reviewing committee has been prioritized compare to further development of web functionality. Simplicity and stability have characterised technological choices.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The result center for product realisation research
Evaluation of a five‐year‐ initiative 2002‐2007

Anna Rönnbäck   Linköping University

Johan Stahre   Chalmers

Background Research within product development, production, and engineering management has long traditions of close connections between industry and academia in Sweden. Since the mid‐nineties these areas have been among the strategically selected for public funding by the Strategic Research Foundation, SSF, through the programs IMIE, ENDREA, EPROPER, PROPER, ProViking, and ProEnviro, programmes that together with industry have invested more than 200 million Euro over the last decade. Industry has played an important role in defining research areas and participating in research projects. Yet, research results are difficult to make known and useful to others then participants. Therefore, a radically new way of communicating results were initiated in 2002. It includes a national "Research Tour" with about ten session per year all over Sweden, and a supporting website developed dynamically with content and classification in keywords added from participating researchers.

Objective The objective of this work is to describe and evaluate the research result dissemination methods developed by SSF programs in product realization field during 2002‐2007, and suggest a model for future work.

Method Methodologically, the study is conducted as action research, where the authors have taken part in the project management between 2002 and 2007. Interviews and survey results are reported on.

Results and Conclusions This initiative has faced several challenges. Both target groups, ie researchers (professors, post docs, PhD students and alumni researchers) and industry people (in manufacturing, product development, innovation and business development), are very busy people, and have not much time to participate in activities beside their current projects. Both time and money are hard to find for this kind of activities. Especially at the end of a research program, when results are available for communication, researchers tend to be busy with new projects.

Therefore, incorporating research result communication activities in other activities, and to team up with the right partners in industry and with mediator roles in between academy and industry, have been a success factors in this work. More then 100 researchers are actively presenting their research, and more then 1000 company representatives have participated over the five years. Open source development philosophy has characterized the technological development, at comparably low cost and high stability.

An increasing number of researchers presenting their results at seminars and at the web site, and an increasing number of web site visit indicate a common interest for this kind of communication media.

Face‐to‐face meetings need to be prioritized, and the web site is primarily regarded a support for that. Spin‐off effects of the web site are that researchers more easily find each other's research, and also that research networks can be maintained even though as many as 80% of all graduated PhD students today are working in industry.

Moreover, to promote content and review process with a reviewing committee has been prioritized compare to further development of web functionality. Simplicity and stability have characterised technological choices.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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