Considering the diversity of the waterborne transport sector, its geographical scope, the international dimension and the challenges and opportunities upfront, LASTING will broaden engagement of the broader waterborne transport sector in European RD&I activities, by developing a communication strategy, and implementing a long-lasting communication campaign beyond the lifetime of this project, ultimately increasing, stakeholder engagement in the sector and thereby increasing impact of European waterborne transport RD&I.
The communication strategy, and thereby the campaign will be based on clear KPI’s set at the starting point of LASTING, jointly developed with the relevant European Commission Services and the broader waterborne transport sector. An essential element of the communication strategy will be the development of a plug-and-play system for participation in European, national or regional strategic maritime and/or inland waterway transport events. In the framework of LASTING, the plug-and-play system will be tested at a number of occasions, to ensure the system is fit-for-purpose. Finally, yet importantly, the Waterborne TP will take over the communication strategy and campaign after the lifetime of LASTING and will ensure a durable implementation of concepts and materials developed during the project.
The main objectives are:
- To develop a communication strategy for European Waterborne transport RD&I projects to enhance their impact.
- To identify information gaps concerning innovation needs, awareness of outcomes and opportunities for participation at European Waterborne transport partners who do not participate in RD&I projects, leading to 25% new potential research partners from the waterborne transport sector
- To build a stakeholder community of 20 strategic partners from the European Waterborne transport sector
- To test the communication strategy and campaign at 3 large European waterborne transport events
LASTING will follow the double diamond approach with four steps: approach discover, define, develop and deliver. Specifically, for LASTING this double diamond approach will be:
- Identifying (DISCOVER), together with European Commission services and the broader waterborne transport sector, the information gaps concerning, innovation needs, awareness of outcomes and opportunities for participation;
- Developing KPIs and benchmark (DEFINE) these at the outset and use to monitor progress throughout the project;
- DEVELOPing a communication strategy to be implemented over the course of the project;
- Broadening lasting awareness and increase the impact (DELIVER) from EU waterborne transport research through prominent participation within large strategic maritime and inland waterway events such as SMM Hamburg in 2022 and 2024 and for example promote waterborne transport innovation in overall strategic transport events, stakeholder exercises and the creation of durable engagement with potential public and private users;
- Producing high quality digital and printed dissemination materials (DELIVER) concerning the scope and success stories arising from EU waterborne transport research. This should include a short video presenting the challenges, innovation needs and successes.
LASTING will be key to increase the participation of the entire waterborne transport sector in European RD&I initiatives, and thereby increasing impact of RD&I. Early involvement of all relevant stakeholders will ensure that user needs are clear and agreed, priorities are jointly set, commitment pre-agreed, and thereby demonstration and deployment guaranteed. LASTING is an action “one-of-its-kind” for the European waterborne transport sector: where in regular projects the outcomes are communicated to both the sector, as well as the general audience, apparently a different approach is needed to ensure all key stakeholders are properly involved. By jointly DEFINING, DISCOVERING, DEVELOPPING and DELIVERING a communication strategy and campaign, the awareness of European opportunities, their relevance and ways to participate will contribute to an increased impact of European waterborne transport RD&I.
The first year will function as a lead-up to a participation in large strategic events by using smaller events as pilot-projects for LASTINGs creative concept and LASTINGs event visibility approach. Every event participation will be its own sub-project with pre-event, event and post-event actions such as, for example, a social media lead-up with targeted ads, a booth animation + conference participation at the event and a post-event video dissemination. Events will have a specific script, detailed in Smartsheet, and each script will feed into the next one to make it better. A possible approach would be to participate in up to 5 events in 2021, which would allow for optimal fine-tuning in preparation of main events in 2022.
One of the disseminating opportunities to consider between events are traditional media. LASTING members will combine their sector expertise, writing capabilities, media relations know-how and network to write impactful, opinionated media releases and opinion pieces and disseminate them to media. To avoid only pitching the usual suspects (e.g. trade media) and meet the ambition to reach new audiences, special attention will be given to media and regions with historically low coverage of waterborne transport related research stories.
The partners’ consortium are:
- Shipyards and maritime equipment association of Europe – SEA EUROPE, coordinator (BE)
- Pro danube management gmbh (AT)
- Burson cohn & wolfe (BCW) (BE)
- Fundación Valenciaport (ES)
- Stichting projecten binnenvaart (SPB) (NL)
- Foundation wegemt – A european association of universities in marine technology and related sciences (WEGEMT) (NL)
The workpackages included in the project are the following:
- WP1 – Information GAP analysis and recommendations
- WP2 – Communication strategy and stakeholder engagement
- WP3 – Communications Campaign
- WP4 – Project management
- WP5 – Ethics requirements