Transferring European research findings into practice: An effective tool to support dissemination in the water sector
Ulf Stein, Johanna von Toggenburg, Beatriz Medina, Darla Nickel, Evelyn Lukat, Carolyn Roberts, Andrea Goltara
Evidence-based policy making within the EU has led to significant increase in funding for research supporting the development of water policies, and a wide range of projects has been undertaken by international consortia. Implementation of their findings requires effective knowledge transfer between knowledge creators such as scientists and technologists, and potential users of such knowledge, namely policy makers, the private sector and the general public. However, despite a reasonable number of undertakings and publications on the topic, dissemination activities frequently remain unstructured, and can be unenthusiastically implemented. Within the European-funded WaterDiss2.0 project, a systematic evaluation of past and current EU-funded water sector research projects was undertaken, based on literature, website analysis, questionnaires and interviews. The analysis focussed on a range of factors influencing the dissemination potential, including the nature of the output to be disseminated, the target group addressed and the design of knowledge exchange activities. Our paper explores questions about successful interactions, and suggests tactics for designing dissemination activities in a more result-oriented way. In order to achieve effective knowledge transfer, a tool supporting dissemination strategy design is presented, and demonstrated using a case study. The tool is applicable to other applied research projects outside the water domain.
Keywords:Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, Water, European research, Science-policy-interface, Innovation, Knowledge brokerage