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Applying Competitive Intelligence to European Horizon2020 R&D projects

In this post we explain the role of Competitive Intelligence in European research projects under Horizon2020. IK4-Ideko has over 20 years´ experience participating in these projects, which has led to the development of a methodology for exploitation where INNGUMA plays a vital role.

Applying Competitive Intelligence to European Horizon2020 R&D projects

The European Commission, following the assessment of the efficiency in the management of public money set aside for Research in Europe in the Public Private Partnership called "Factories of the Future" (PPP FoF), has concluded that, despite the good results achieved in the projects in recent times, the impact that these results have on companies and society can be improved. Some comments that can be drawn from the evaluation report1 regarding these terms are:

  • The results of the projects are not always shown in a real industrial environment making it difficult for companies and society in general to understand the direct benefits of its application.
  • More a rule than an exception; the European proposals do not have a process to guide, during the project, the steps to bring the results to market.
  • In most European proposals the responsibility of the leaders of exploitation of the results and scope thereof are unclear.
  • In rare cases the results are shared between projects and/or conjugated for common benefit among participants.

IK4-Ideko, with over 20 years of experience in participating in research projects funded by the European Commission, has developed a method (EXPLOITT®) that guides the work and the necessary guidelines so that the results are closer to market and therefore companies obtain greater impact and benefit of them.

From the beginning of the project, EXPLOITT® method takes into account the necessary variables to drive the models and business plans that will be reinforced by generated research results in the course of the project. Within the stages set out in the summary table of the method, Competitive Intelligence is one of the most relevant and necessary to adjust the course of developments based on what is happening in the competitive and technological environment associated with the project; keep in mind that since a proposal is submitted, approved, negotiated and executed technological advances evolve and should be adjusted over time so that the central idea of the project continues having a high impact on the participating companies and society in general. It is necessary, therefore, to establish an internal process within the project that monitors and checks the competitive environment surrounding the research project objectives and results. The implementation of this activity and the definition of the Key Intelligence Topics are tasks usually done by IK4-Ideko in projects in which it participates, as well as implementing INNGUMA tool to make this process more efficient within the project partners. To summarize, some typical Key Intelligence Topics in most of the projects are:

  • Patent surveillance: One of the most common results of European research projects are patents. Before deciding what to patent, it is necessary to study and monitor the state of the art related to performed research and the results to be obtained within the project.
  • Norms and Standards surveillance: a way to increase the impact that the results of a project may have on the market is the realization or modification of a standard that has as its object influencing the application sector or market of this technology. Before deciding whether this strategy is valid, must know the norms and standards that are located around the developments marked on the proposal and must try to monitor changes that occur in them. In this way and with this information, we can decide what strategy to follow to create or modify international standards that enhance the future impact of the results of the project.
  • Scientific articles surveillance: you need to know and keep up with scientific and technological developments that may influence the project results.
  • Competitor monitoring: the results of the project must be competitive and must have a clear market orientation; know what products are placed on the market and its evolution can give us in better decision making to bring our developments to market. Also, this knowledge is central to the realization of the business models and plans.
  • Monitoring other European projects approved in the same topics: it is essential to try to benefit and create links with other proposals being developed in parallel in the same fields of application. Combining knowledge or even coming to form clusters (www.focusonfof.eu) with other technology partners can greatly enhance market access or even improve the overall technological proposal.
  • Monitoring market evolution: market demand and needs are the reason to conduct these technological developments, it is important to know at all times whether those needs have changed or are being met from other emerging technologies. This knowledge is key to decision-making in the design of business models and plans.

Some European projects which are already using our INNGUMA Competitive Intelligence software are:

If you want to know how to apply Competitive Intelligence to your projects, or are launching a CI initiative in your organization, you can contact us and we will help you. Also, you can try professional software like INNGUMA for free requesting a demo.

 

1http://ec.europa.eu/research/evaluations/pdf/archive/other_reports_studies_and_documents/research_ppps.pdf