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D23 Dissemination Plan
The Cooperation Platform for Research and Standards was initiated with the goal to improve the interface between IST research and standardization. It was set up early 2004 as a 3-year FP6 Specific Support Action by the three European Standards Organizations, CEN, CENELEC & ETSI, together with the Open Group and the World Wide Web Consortium. The two main objective for COPRAS are:
During its second reporting period, between February 2005 and January 2006, COPRAS has produced several of its main deliverables, such as
It has based these deliverables on the information, knowledge and experience it build up during its first reporting period, as well as on the feedback and recommendations it received during its first periodic review.
COPRAS' prime objective during the first reporting period was to ensure all projects that have standards-related output could be identified. This was addressed by gathering information on all projects in FP6 Calls 1 & 2, and subsequently by analyzing this information and selecting projects. For both Calls this generated response rates over 50% as shown in the tables below, which enabled COPRAS to establish contacts and cooperation with a substantial number of projects.
|Call||Number of Projects||Work Package 2||Work Package 3||Work Package 4|
|Addressed||Responding||Selected & invited||SAP development|
As the table shows, these steps so far led to the development of Standardization Action Plans for 25 projects already, with additional plans still in the pipeline,1 of which part are individual (i.e. focus on a specific project’s standardization requirements) and part are clustered (i.e. define actions of several projects in a Strategic Objective towards common or joint standardization goals). The plans stretch across 13 out of the 18 Strategic Objectives in FP6 Calls 1 & 2 that COPRAS addressed, as the following table shows.
|Semantic based systems & languages||ARTEMIS||Individual||188.8.131.52|
|Smart houses & home networking||ENTHRONE||Clustered||184.108.40.206|
Standardization Action Plans will help projects working towards realistic objectives that are actually achievable within the limitations of their own timing and resources, as well as within the boundaries of the main focus areas of the relevant standardization landscape. The plans encourage projects to start their interfacing with standards organizations at an earlier point in time and therefore decrease the ‘standardization gap’ that many times occurs at the end of a projects’ lifespan.
As Standardization Action Plans generally cover a 12-18 month period, and the execution of plans for projects in Call 1 did not start until 6-8 months ago, it is still too early to demonstrate tangible results such as standardization deliverables, from the actions described in the plans. Although the actual execution of the plans is not a part of COPRAS’ work plan, it will monitor progress, and document the results individual or clustered projects will achieve, through ‘case study’ brochures. Several of these brochures have already been produced (e.g. for the ENTHRONE and GANDALF projects), and more will follow throughout the course of COPRAS’ final reporting period.
During its second reporting period COPRAS spend considerable effort using, transforming and translating the information and knowledge it build working with projects in Calls 1 & 2, into deliverables addressing the more generic aspects of RTD/standards interfacing in ICT. As a first step, COPRAS developed a set of ‘Generic guidelines for IST projects interfacing with ICT standards organizations’, helping for example projects in IST Calls 4 & 5 building their standardization activities into their work plans already at the start of their activities.
The guidelines, that can be found in their entirety at www.copras.org demonstrate the benefits of standardization to projects (and their consortium partners), and help determining whether or not an interface with standardization should be pursued. They explain the different social-economic purposes of standards and standardization processes while at the same time underlining that standardization can be quite beneficial to research projects.
The Generic Guidelines explain standardization as a process that begins at the concept stage of a proposal, and involves a sequence of actions to achieve a specific result, thus indicating the most important milestones within a project lifespan where standardization should be considered. However, as standardization processes may take up to 3 or 4 years, the guidelines also underline that it is recommended to plan interfacing with standards organizations at the beginning of a project’s activities.
As the number of ICT standards bodies is quite large, the Generic Guidelines are expected to establish an important tool enabling future IST research projects to find the right organization to pass their output through. For the purpose of strengthening their impact, COPRAS developed additional support material such as a dedicated brochure and a dedicated section on its web site on the Generic Guidelines, and ensured the support from many different Units within the Commission for their distribution among the IST research community. In this respect, statistics show that with more than 50.000 direct hits on the generic guidelines related pages on the COPRAS web sites, its dissemination strategy can be called successful.
Although initial feedback with respect to the Generic guidelines has already been very positive, a more systematic analysis of the impact and usefulness of this material will be conducted by COPRAS among projects in Calls 4 (and possibly Call 5), during its last reporting period. This information will be combined with feedback received from other stakeholders such as the standards community and Commission Project Officers, and serve the upgrading of the Generic guidelines.
Following recommendations from its first annual review, COPRAS decided not to address projects in Call 3 in the same way as it hade addressed Calls 1 & 2, but instead to allocate more resources to improving the sustainability of its results, and to address several broader aspects of RTD/standards interfacing as well. Apart from the Generic guidelines, this also generated a reverse mapping report, holding the topics addressed by EU funded research against the most important areas identified by European standards organizations today.
In this respect, the picture of a relatively good balance already demonstrated by the variety of topics addressed in the Call 1 & 2 Standardization Action Plans, returns in the results of the reverse mapping analysis. Research areas addressed by projects in Calls 1 & 2 mapped against the main standardization topics of 11 different organizations, demonstrate the standards world actually sees most of its mainstream areas addressed by research., as also shown in the table below.
|Standards organization||Number of main standardization areas||Number of areas covered at least by one of the projects||%|
|The Open Group||22||21||95,5|
Looking at its activities and results during the second reporting period, it can be concluded that COPRAS successfully developed a series of clustered and individual Standards Action Plans with projects in FP6 IST Calls 1 & 2, which will proceed through their execution phase during the last reporting period. Moreover, experience from, and information generated through the activities towards projects in Calls 1 & 2 were used to develop Generic guidelines for IST projects interfacing with ICT standards bodies, as well as to map research topics identified by projects in these Calls, against the currently most relevant standardization topics among the main European standards organizations.
For its last reporting period, COPRAS will focus on monitoring the execution of the Standardization Action Plans and on disseminating the results that will be achieved here. Moreover, it will further improve, and disseminate the Generic guidelines, while specifically focusing on the sustainability of its deliverables for projects in future Calls and Framework Programmes. Further, it will retrieve feedback from the relevant constituencies on the usage and usefulness of the guidelines and other deliverables developed by COPRAS, and evaluate these, in the broader context of the RTD/standards interfacing process in ICT , at an Open Meeting, as well as in evaluation reports.
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