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EPIC Proposal Preparation & Digital Disruption Workshop

14 December 2017 | Melbourne (RMIT)

Session 1: Writing Successful Proposals for Collaborative Research Projects - How to prepare a winning research bid in competitive international environments (09:00 - 13:00)

This half-day seminar at RMIT in Melbourne provided researchers interested in collaborative projects with hands-on training on how to prepare winning projects and to write successful grant proposals for competitive call schemes such as H2020. The seminar covered finding the right call topic, creating successful partnerships, developing winning arguments and addressing the often-puzzling policy requirements of public programme calls. In addition, tips on good management practices and open calls for funding were also provided.

The 20 workshop participants comprised researchers from the Melbourne region and ranged from advanced PhD students, to research managers, to full professors. Also in the audience were EU expats living in Melbourne. Most participants had an interest in ICT research, which included, for instance, ICT application areas, biological sciences or physics.

The seminar was held by the EPIC coordinator, Dr Erich Prem, who is a research strategist and RTDI manager with decade-long experience in grant preparation and management. He is a frequent evaluator for national and international research programmes; an advisor to research policy makers and an evaluator and reviewer for the European Commission’s international research activities.  

Session 2: Digital Disruption Workshop - Preparing EU-Australian research cooperation in digital disruption (14:00 - 16:30)

The Digital Disruption Cooperation workshop provided a venue in which experts from Denmark’s Aalborg University could discuss innovation opportunities, and potential collaborations, emerging from digital disruption with Australian ICT and innovation experts from the Melbourne region.

Digital disruption triggers exponential growth rates and creates exponential disruption of existing markets. Nearly all areas in the global society will to some extent be digitalized; and because digital performance is characterised by exponential development, digital disruption is happening with a persistently increasing pace in more and more areas such as:

  • Technology: Additive/new manufacturing (3D printing), drones, virtual reality…
  • On demand services: Search engines, video-streaming, music-streaming…
  • Network communication: Social media, learning, consulting…
  • Sharing economy: Transport, hospitality, collaborative consumption…
  • Grand challenges: Health, environmental change, energy…

The workshop included presentations from two Danish digital disruption experts, Claus A. Foss Rosenstand and Frank Gertsen. Claus Rosenstand is Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark and the research and steering committee leader of the Consortium for Digital Disruption at Aalborg University. He is also an entrepreneur with experience from over 10 start-ups within digital media – e.g. AskCody, which is placed in Aalborg, Denmark and Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Frank is Professor of Innovation Management at the Centre for Industrial Production, Dept. of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University. He participates in the steering committee and research group of the Consortium for Digital Disruption at Aalborg University, Denmark.

Other experts from Aalborg University were Ass. Prof. Kjeld Nielsen, Ass. Prof. Louise Møller Haase, Ass. Prof. Christian Tollestrup, Prof. Jesper Kjeldskov, and Ass. Prof. Thomas Ditlev Brunø, who briefly presented aspects of their work.

LEGO Director Carsten Brinch Larsen explained how the current shift to digital technologies is also changing how kids play with toys. This means significant efforts on the side of a traditional toymaker to explore the vast potential innovation space – including with ICT for innovation.

The experts from Denmark explained the huge potential for EU-Australian regional collaboration as many Australian SMEs seek to strategically improve their technology intelligence with respect to digitization.