Online ITEA PO Days

ITEA Community clearly showed its agility at the Online ITEA PO Days 2020

On 7 September, ITEA 3 Call 7 opened with the Online ITEA PO Days 2020, which was held from 7-11 September 2020. As it was not possible to get together with the ITEA Community, this year the ITEA PO Days were organised online. Over five days, participants were able to learn more about ITEA, its upcoming Call, the submission process and, most important of all, new project ideas. Despite the change in format, the ITEA Community clearly showed its agility and made a big step towards a set of high-quality project proposals for the ITEA 3 Call 7!

A changed format, continued high interest

ITEA rose to the challenge to put the PO Days into an online five-day event, enabling the participants to join different sessions of interest. Over the days, four live webinars were organised covering the established programme elements of the annual PO Days, including the introduction to the Online ITEA PO Days, instructions and Q&A, the ITEA Awards of Excellence ceremony and the closing final results and conclusions. National priorities and eligibility criteria were presented by Public Authorities in dedicated online information sessions and during each of the five days there was room to discuss project ideas in online workgroup sessions and shape them into initial project proposals.

A total of 77 project ideas were presented via the ITEA Project idea tool, online posters and video pitches. The high number of online workgroup sessions gave our Community members the chance to meet online and start shaping a consortium and further develop the ideas towards successful Project Outlines. A record number of 338 participants from over 20 countries joined the online event, with the highest participation coming from Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada, but countries like Korea showed a strong increase in participation as well this year. In addition to established participants from previous years, the Online ITEA PO Days have been able to attract 51% newcomers which shows the openness of the Community once again.We were very pleased to welcome Singapore for the first time.

Encouraging figures

For the Online ITEA PO Days 2020, extra features were created to facilitate the online event and project creation, like online poster and pitch areas, online working group session overviews and country information sessions. The 79 online workgroup sessions that were held over the five days resulted in 18 final-results presentations in the closing webinar on Friday.

The project ideas were clustered by 7 societal challenges, i.e. Safety and Security, Smart cities, Smart communities, Smart engineering, Smart industry, Smart health and Smart mobility. Although each challenge was well covered, the number of Safety and Security project ideas was remarkably high (24), showing the impact again of this year's ITEA International Customer Workshop on this topic. As in previous years, Smart health (15), Smart engineering (13) and Smart industry (10) remain important topics for the ITEA Community as well. Although a Eureka Clusters AI Call had already been organised in June earlier this year, AI remains a big topic in ITEA 3 Call 7, covered by 27 out of 77 ideas.

A new ITEA Vice-chairman

The Online ITEA PO Days offered the perfect opportunity to welcome and introduce the new ITEA Vice-chairman, Jean-François Lavignon. He succeeded Philippe Letellier, who was the ITEA Vice-chair since 2008. Jean-François Lavignon took the opportunity during his debut to say how very excited he is to work with the ITEA Community and to add new chapters to the ITEA research and business success story. He will apply his previous experience, from industry as well as from coaching SMEs, to the benefit of the ITEA Community.

ITEA Awards of Excellence

On the third day, resigning ITEA Vice-chairman Philippe Letellier hosted a special webinar dedicated to the ITEA Awards of Excellence. This year's award winners are:

ITEA congratulates the ITEA Award of Excellence winners for contributing to a better society!

Online ITEA PO Days 2020 in numbers

  • 338 participants from 20 different countries
  • 77 project ideas were presented via the ITEA Project idea tool, online posters and video pitches
  • 79 online workgroup sessions held
  • 18 final project ideas presented

Looking back at the Online ITEA PO Days

Turning a physical event into an online event is a challenge, with expectations aligned to a ‘normal’ physical event. We asked all participants to share their evaluation and suggestions for improvements and with a 3.5-score on a 5-point scale (where 3 is good and 4 is very good), the online event was well appreciated.

The Online ITEA PO Days created new opportunities in a way that attendees did not need travel and be away from the office for Online ITEA PO Days 2020 multiple days. This resulted in a higher number of participants from both Korea and Canada and a higher number of participating countries in general. Nevertheless, the general tendency expressed by the participants is that the online event was successful, but the spontaneous encounters and interactions were sorely missed. Face-to-face meetings contribute stronger to shaping a consortium and developing ideas towards a successful project proposal.

Greet Bilsen, Katholieke Univerisiteit Leuven: “Both formulas have their advantage; the online formula makes it easier to prepare and jump into the relevant sessions (losing less time), whilst the physical event allows for 'unexpected' contacts and discussions.”

We highly value the feedback received, and we take comments and suggestions into account to further improve the ITEA PO Days, online or physical. Of course, we can’t foresee the longterm, but we will surely move back to a physical PO Days event when it is safe to do so.

ITEA 3 Call 7

Already during the Online ITEA PO Days event, the 7 first Project Outlines for ITEA 3 Call 7 were initiated in the Community website! At the deadline of 10 November, 35 Project Outlines had been submitted, with a total effort of 3967 person years. Currently, all these POs are being reviewed. On 11 December the consortia will be informed whether they will be invited to submit a Full Project Proposal.

More information

https://itea3.org/onlinepodays2020/index.html


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