Full Text of the Deliverable
The Cooperation Platform for Research and Standards (COPRAS) was initiated by the 3 European Standards Organizations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI), together with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and The Open Group as a horizontal project in FP6 IST Call 1. The project started its activities in February 2004 and aims to support IST research projects in FP6 in their interfacing with standards organizations.
The present report establishes a brief overview of the activities and methodological steps the project went through during the first half of its lifespan. Purpose of this is to hold the activities and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the processes applied and (interim) results achieved against the objectives defined and targets set at the start of the project in order to assess whether COPRAS so far has managed to achieve its goals and, equally important, assess — as far as possible — the impact it managed to generate so far.
When assessing the activities in Work Packages 2, 3 and 4, encompassing the activities aiming to support projects in Calls 1 and 2, structuring their steps towards standardization of their output in Standardization Action Plans, it may be concluded that the targets initially defined have been reached. COPRAS succeeded in selecting 8-10% of research projects (the «COPRAS Programme») in Calls 1 and 2, with which it has developed, and/or is developing Standardization Action Plans.
As most of these projects however started their activities towards execution of these Plans only a limited time ago, it is not yet possible to carry out complete quantitative and qualitative assessments of the number of contributions made to standardization, and neither has it yet been possible to have these contributions evaluated by the standards organizations they were submitted to. A complete assessment, also addressing an evaluation of the support COPRAS has provided to the projects it is currently working with, will therefore be included in the final evaluation report. This will also assess the benefits projects managed to obtain from participating in the processes.
An interim analysis however shows that, based on the results achieved so far, COPRAS partners remain confident that the overall target of submissions to standards bodies will be achieved by the end of the project. Also, as interactions with the target standards bodies so far have been positive overall, it is anticipated that the continuation of these processes will enable further qualitative assessments of both the project submissions and the responses by standards organizations.
In addition to working with selected projects in calls 1 and 2, COPRAS also developed a set of «Generic Guidelines for IST research projects interfacing with ICT standards organizations», based on the experiences generated when going through the process steps in Work Packages 2, 3 and 4 and from working with the selected projects. These Guidelines, which have also been made available in brochure format, aim to support projects in FP6 IST Calls 4 and beyond, and were distributed via Commission Project Officers overseeing the Strategic Objectives in FP6 IST Calls 4 and 5.
Although it is too early to assess the impact of the Generic Guidelines, initial feedback, specifically from the respective Units in the Commission, has been very positive. Therefore COPRAS is confident the material it has produced will be used by projects in Calls 4 and 5, and will support them in their interfaces with standardization. Further assessment towards the end of COPRAS' lifespan will however be necessary to determine this in more detail.
Although a complete evaluation of the interim results has not been possible, due to the fact that the major processes subject to such evaluations have only recently started, an assessment of the activities deployed by COPRAS, the processes and methodologies applied, and the results achieved, leads to an overall positive conclusion, both in a qualitative and quantitative sense. This provides a good basis for achieving the anticipated results in the second half of its lifespan as well.
Similar to evaluating its results, a full assessment of COPRAS' impact will not be possible until the end of the project. However, taking into account the positive feedback from research projects, Commission Project Officers, standards organizations and other stakeholders so far, as well as the fact that awareness of the issues addressed by COPRAS has increased among the targeted constituencies, the COPRAS project partners are confident that the project will have a positive impact.