Innovation brought by FP7-CHEETAH Knowledge Exchange @ 32nd EUPVSEC
Innovation brought by CHEETAH project in knowledge Exchange presented @ 32nd EUPVSEC
New release of CHEETAH KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE platform has been presented in Munich during last EUPVSEC 2016 - 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition20 - 24 June 2016, ICM - International Congress Center Munich, Germany
Knowledge Exchange is a key stone which brings together academic staff, research organizations, company members and wider groups and communities by translating and/or transforming it into an opportunity to take mutual profit, and to learn more and better thanks to complementary skills. This speeds up the achievement of the objectives and the impact of our research. Since its first steps CHEETAH project has been proposing a new approach in knowledge exchange to improve effectives in collaboration and its impact and the innovation brought by CHEETAH project in this represents a significant step forward to overcome fragmentation of European PV R&D by intensifying the collaboration between R&D providers and industry to accelerate the industrialization of innovations.
CHEETAH Knowledge Exchange Platform:
The Knowledge exchange within CHEETAH membership and also in collaboration with external organziation is based on the very wide use of its platform proposes the massive use of dedicated ICT tools to share expertise by organizing webinars, on-line technical/scientific meetings, on-line tests and similar activities can offer opportunities to live participating without physically being on site. Joint test procedures realized by Round Robin experiments are also fundamental tools to elaborate a technical position to increase the quality of ones work.
Dedicated surveys among respondents and the utilization of search-engine/query keywords based on friendly graphic interfaces propose the inventory of available expertise and infrastructures on demand and supply and fosters relationships and multidisciplinary collaborative research at international, national, and institutional level.
The new release of the portal has been presented during 32nd EUPVSEC 20 - 24 June 2016 in Munich, Germany.
Evaluation of Knowledge exchange need:
The platform makes also available the analysis of technical and scientific needs in PV RTD in short, medium and long term. Till now the evaluation of the gap in education and research skill between the entry level and the level that should be reached for any technological branch including photovoltaics has been based on experts’ interviews, those offered their own vision about what can be considered as priority areas of intervention. This one-to-one approach obviously offers several significant benefits for a qualified analysis of each individual technology, its position and its perspective, but also shows some limitations because the definition of the priorities is inevitably influenced by the individual vision of each expert.
To overcome the abovementioned limitations, the innovative approach proposed by CHEETAH in evaluating knowledge has been still based on the acquisition of information by questionnaires, business-to-business interviews, and by promoting discussions among partners, but it has been based on assigning by each respondent an alphanumeric value expressing the gap between the occupied position today and the level of interest for each topic in short, medium, long term. This approach is very similar to the one utilized in other fields of needs analysis, as example in market segments for SMEs (see smE-MPOWER project and A.W. Ulwick’s paper “turn customers into innovation” in Harward Business Review, Jan. 2002, 5-11). Information coming from different sources (i.e. individual experts/scientists or groups of laboratories/ organizations, etc.) were elaborated by involved partners, by aggregating them in different ways (by category, by country, by gender, etc.) depending on the necessities for the evaluation and the definition of the proposed measures (exchange of equipment, training courses on their utilization, etc.). As a result, this constitutes a more rich informative content and a more impartial and transparent evaluation process. This approach offers opportunities to compare the performance of exchange process at the beginning of the project and during its evolution, segment by segment, and by focussing where are the more relevant the needs . Four different areas of interest can be determined in this way:
- Uncritical weakness: an area where for each specific PV technology / PV RTD topic and equipment both not prepared / not-relevant condition is verified for the specific organization;
- Low valued strength: an area where for each specific PV technology / PV RTD topic and equipment well prepared / not-relevant condition is verified for the specific organization;
- Challenge area: where needs should be satisfied with targeted actions (not-prepared / highly important verified)
- Strategic Strength: an area where for each specific PV technology / PV RTD topic and equipment both well prepared / and relevant condition are verified for the specific respondent organization