Full Text of the Deliverable
The second phase in COPRAS' information gathering process targeting IST projects in FP6, addresses projects in Call 2, which launched September 2004. Gathering of information establishes the first in a series of methodological steps followed by COPRAS to determine which projects would benefit most from COPRAS' support in their interfacing with standards bodies, and hence aims to provide the basis for subsequent steps analyzing and selecting IST projects for closer cooperation.
The information gathering process for projects in Call 2 in principle followed the same methodological steps that were applied when Call 1 projects were addressed during the spring of 2004, and hence focused on generic as well as specific standards related information. However, with respect to the instruments that were used to determine projects' specific standardization objectives, activities and requirements, it was decided not to use pre-defined categories in the questionnaires anymore (as was the case for Call 1), as experience indicated that this approach did not always generate information that was sufficiently detailed to be useful in subsequent steps in the COPRAS processes.
Nevertheless — and similar to call 1 — a virtually complete set of generic data could be gathered for 107 out of a total of 111 projects. Further, 52 responses to the questionnaire were received, generating a response rate of 48,6%, which is not as high as the 56% finally achieved for call 1, but still well within the target range of 40-50%. Moreover, intensive follow-up accompanying the distribution of the questionnaire showed that the vast majority of projects that could actually benefit from cooperation with COPRAS are included in the 48,6% that provided their feedback. Also, the fact that for projects in Call 2 the questionnaire could be filled in on-line clearly increased the quality (and hence usefulness) of the feedback.
The results show that almost a third of the projects in Call 2 could eventually produce standards related output and/or would benefit from COPRAS' support. The deviation between the 8 Strategic Objectives addressed is however even larger than it was in Call 1, possibly leading to COPRAS concentrating on only a limited number of Strategic Objectives in Call 2. Nevertheless, as in Call 1, the overall quality and quantity of feedback establishes a good basis for COPRAS to arrange for the targeted 8 - 10% of projects to participate in the COPRAS Programme.
Finally, overall experience from the information gathering processes in Calls 1 and 2 show that a good communication and marketing of COPRAS' benefits towards research projects, prior to or during the information gathering process is an important element for acquiring the targeted feedback. Nevertheless, considerable and continuous effort remains required in many cases to obtain the necessary information, and the present Call 2 information gathering report should not be regarded as the end of the information gathering process, as valuable input may still be received at a later point in time.