February 2016 news update
Welcome to our February 2016 news update
Delivering impact for European research projects has been our main focus over the past few months. We have developed a community ‘resilience tool’ for TESS, written the impact chapter for a Horizon 2020 proposal and disseminated findings from our evaluator survey.
For the Climate Smart Agriculture project in Malawi, we have completed a series of permaculture manuals and accompanying videos and are preparing for a screening tour of farmer-made films.
TESS project update
We have set ourselves a big task within the TESS team: to develop a useful and user-friendly online tool to enable any European community initiative to assess its own success and impact.
At Climate Futures, we believe that the biggest challenge any community faces is to become resilient enough to respond creatively to the economic, social, political and environmental changes that are inevitable, as we move away from dependence on fossil fuels.
Based on a concept developed by Dr Nick Wilding with the Carnegie Foundation (2011), the tool will help communities consider their resilience through a game, self-assessment and quantification of impacts - from four perspectives:
1. healthy and engaged people (well-being and relationships);
2. a localised economy, within ecological limits (protecting jobs and natural capital);
3. cross-community links (networking to strengthen knowledge and co-operation); and
4. creative, inclusive culture (equality and justice, openness to innovation).
Other news: we met in the beautiful crystal cold of -27ºC in Oulu, Finland for our six-monthly project meeting in January. This helped us clarify the reports, papers, briefings and other deliverables due before TESS ends in November. Some of us stayed on to enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and to experience how the Finnish lifestyle, buildings and low-carbon energy supply are well adapted to the extreme climate.
H2020 call SPIRE-01, "Systematic approaches for resource-efficient water management systems in process industries": we developed and wrote the impact chapter for a consortium proposal involving an innovative software and monitoring system to reduce water, energy and wastewater in the ceramic, metal and textile industries across Europe.
H2020 call EE-04, "New heating and cooling solutions using low grade sources of thermal energy": we are leading the dissemination and exploitation work package for a consortium proposal, investigating geothermal-power for buildings across Europe.
Our Insights survey of Horizon 2020 evaluators and applicants showed:
- Partners invest at least a month, on average, in forming a consortium and submitting a proposal for competitive H2020 funding;
- Evaluators are looking for a combination of elements in a proposal to score impact highly, which is often the key to a winning score overall;
- Common weaknesses include failing to address the impact statement, poor delivery of innovations to market and inadequate exploitation of results;
- Successful proposals give detailed yet realistic pathways to impact, backed up with credible targets and indicators;
- They involve stakeholders in concept design and consider their research needs carefully, along with interactive communication channels.
Climate Smart Agriculture
We completed the production of a series of permaculture manuals and accompanying videos for Malawian partner, the Kusamala Institute. We are also organising a screening tour of participatory videos in the Dowa district, on subjects varying from water conservation to rice growing.
The tour will round off our involvement in three incredible agroforestry and permaculture projects, helping Malawians to diversify their diets, improve the environment and adapt to the growing impacts of climate change.