EARMA Conference Oslo


Look inside – think beyond: A toolbox to support researchers in finding alternative ways of exploiting project results


Petra Auer-Nahold


  • E
    Elke Perl-Vorbach
  • T
    Thomas Trink


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Topic: Impact


When writing a proposal, very often two different worlds are clashing: On the one hand, excellent researchers are concentrating on the content of their research topic, diving deeply into details/hypotheses/possible outcomes/breakthrough moments of their research. On the other hand, funding organisations want to maximise impact of the funded projects via project outcomes and results.
To get scientifically excellent proposals accepted for funding, the expectations of funders in terms of impact, exploitation and dissemination, have to be met as well.

Exploitation is an aspect often considered very one-sidedly. In Academia, publications count; in cooperation with companies, inventions and patents are common forms of exploitation. Other ways of describing exploitation tend to be neglected and seem to be unknown to researchers.

To help researchers consider alternative ways of exploiting project results as early as in the proposal stage, we collaborated in an interdisciplinary and trans-university project within the framework of the Knowledge Transfer Centre South (WTZ Süd, www.wtz-sued.at, coordinated by TU Graz). WTZ Süd is a regional intermediary of expertise and knowledge between academic research, science, business, and society.

In the project, we selected good practices of exploitation paths in national and international research projects and analysed their exploitation measures from the planning and the application to the post-project phase. Our questions to the principle investigators covered the whole project life cycle, from the planning and the application to the post-project phase.
Special attention was paid to the integration of the humanities, social sciences and cultural sciences in the exploitation of results of projects.

As a result of the in-depth interviews, we developed an
”Exploitation Beyond Toolbox”, now fully equipped with examples from good practise projects. The toolbox shall help to bridge the valley between applicants and funders. Between applicants who prefer and find it easier to delve into scientific questions, and funders who are keen to maximise the impact of science funding.

At the EARMA 2022 conference we would like to present this “Exploitation Beyond Toolbox” in the format of an oral presentation.

In the Q&A section we aim at discussing with the audience how the support provided by the toolbox can be integrated in an overall supporting process in proposal writing. Specific attention will be paid to the challenge of transfer and inspiration: How to translate specific examples of lessons learned out of the toolbox into impactful proposals.

Learning outcomes:
- The audience will gain insight on how to get researchers to think beyond the usual ways of exploiting ideas.
- The international and interdisciplinary focus will further contribute to broadening everyone’s perspective of diverse exploitation and dissemination activities for research results and will strengthen the impact of research with an impactful research management support.
- Networking on this topic will help RM&A to find tailor-made propositions in their daily life project support.

Acknowledgement: Project funded by Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) from funds of the Österreichische Nationalstiftung für Forschung, Technologie und Entwicklung.