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ITEA focuses on customer orientation; it is part of our DNA. During project reviews, the project’s success depends partly on its involvement of and verification with customers. Customers are even regularly part of ITEA projects and the entire ITEA event approach is geared to being closer to the customer, with the annual thematic ITEA customer workshops and participation in customer fairs such as the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) and the Cyber ​​Security & Cloud Expo.

Survey image Survey image

Essentially, the ITEA project partners are, in addition to important building blocks, also “customers” of the ITEA programme; they use the services, such as the (network) events like the ITEA PO Days, the interface, like the ITEA project idea tool and Community website, and we work together with them on the ITEA (project) promotion, including the ITEA project leaflets, the ITEA Magazine and the Impact stream.

As they work ‘in the field’, these customers have wishes and ideas that are important, from which ITEA can learn, improve and innovate. To this end we ask time and effort from the ITEA project partners to share their valuable information with us; after every event or stage in an ITEA Call for projects (e.g. PO Submission, FPP Submission, start-up and completion) we ask about their experience, ideas and wishes. This requested time and effort is only well spent if something is really done with the results. Although not every idea can be implemented (immediately) and there are numerous different opinions, rest assured that many improvements have been achieved thanks to the ITEA Community’s input.

To give a clear example; participation in SCEWC was inspired by the surveys conducted after our Co-summits and the Digital Innovation Forum (DIF). Every year we received feedback such as “This type of event should attract more people outside the community”, “There is not enough outside participation and it feels to be much more like an event for the people that are already engaged in projects” and “Not enough potential customers”. ITEA has always encouraged projects to involve customers but has not always succeed in achieving that at its own events. That is why the thematic ITEA customer workshop was first set up 6 years ago, in which customers from a specific theme were brought into contact with solution providers from the ITEA Community and specific customer challenges were converted into customer-oriented R&D projects. That was a success; the events were very well rated - with a record score of 4.23 on a scale of 5.0. But it wasn’t enough; during the ITEA Events, the demand for more customers and outsiders remained high. That is why ITEA changed course in 2019 and went to the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona with 12 projects. This experience yielded many learning points, but 88% of the participants that had participated to the ITEA Events before thought this new approach was better (and the other 12% thought it was similar): “Participating in SCEWC helped us shape the presentation and parts of the product that we developed in the project”. Through this successful participation, we will continue to participate in various thematic customer fairs in the future. In 2020, besides the SCEWC, preparations for participating in the Cyber ​​Security Expo in Amsterdam are already ongoing.

In addition to major changes, such as an event approach, the details are not forgotten. Suggestions for improvement for the PO and FPP submission process are evaluated seriously each year. Overall, the PO submission process in ITEA is now well appreciated; PO leaders gave a score of 4.11 (compared to 3.54 in 2018). This higher satisfaction level was partly thanks to the improvements made based on the evaluation outcomes of the PO Submission of 2018:

  • Creation of a revised and shorter version of the PO Annex template
  • Improvement of the ITEA Living Roadmap
  • Creation of a proxy Project Leader role
  • Creation of a checklist at partner level
Results of survey

Although this score is already high, we are not going to sit back and relax; we continue to listen to where we can still improve.

Even after the completion of a project, the project leader is asked to review each process one last time. In 2019, the results per topic were as follows:

From the processes, the Change Request process received a relatively low score (3.2 out of 5, where 3 = good and 4 = very good). Based on the feedback received, the process has been analysed and improvements have been implemented in January 2020.

We are proud of having received a 100% recommendation score from all 226 respondents over three different surveys in 2019 and comments like “Very, very good tool, best in kind in EU projects. Congratulations” are definitely rewarding, but we also highly appreciate the constructive feedback from the ITEA Community.

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their valuable contribution and for helping to improve ITEA’s response to the needs of the users over the past few years. We will keep listening to you in the future!


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