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  • By: Graphene Flagship
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 10 December 2020
  • By: Graphene Flagship
  • Graphene Flagship
  • Publishing date: 10 December 2020

Deep Dive: Meet the Graphene Flagship dissemination team

Meet our multidisciplinary team of marketing, communications and events experts. From left to right: Sofia Järbur, Rebecca Waters, Elena Novoselova, Luciana Löberg, Tom Foley and Fernando Gomollón-Bel. Not pictured: Melanie Lawson, Letizia Diamante and Vincenzo Palermo. Image credit: Vesa Laitinen

Research does not stop once a paper is published. Innovation goes way beyond a product launch, and collaboration blossoms in scientific conferences, tradeshows and meetings. This is why the Dissemination Work Package plays a key role in making the Graphene Flagship such a successful project. We are a multidisciplinary team of experts in science writing, communica­tion, marketing and events, working together to maximise the impact of our project's outcomes.

Promoting research

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does is make a sound? Similarly, when the Graphene Flagship publishes important research, will it reach the media?

Our team specialises in promoting research. When results are ready to be published, we collaborate with scientists to craft news stories for our website and engaging press releases for journalists. In 2019, we generated more than 1400 pieces of coverage in printed newspapers, including top outlets like Reuters, The Times, Wired, El País and Corriere della Sera. Our estimated readership online is almost 2 billion and our media appearances have so far saved the project over €17M in paid advertising.

Moreover, we connect with our audience over a variety of social media outlets: we share our content on Facebook to reach the general public, we tweet to stay in touch with the scientific community and policy makers, and we have an active profile on LinkedIn to connect to our business partners and innovation stakeholders. We also target our younger audience through channels like Instagram and YouTube, devoting a portion of our resources to scientific outreach.

Fostering innovation

Innovation is the ultimate goal of the Graphene Flagship. Our team collaborates very closely with the Head of Innovation, Business Developers and the Industrialisation Work Package to guarantee that their results are communicated to the appropri­ate audience – businesses, investors and potential clients.

We have focused some of our most important press campaigns on the promotion of innovation. Moreover, we have joined forces with a PR agency that specialises in communicating technological advances and reaching out to B2B magazines. Some of our most successful news stories in 2019 addressed product launches and industry tradeshows like Mobile World Congress or discussed new Graphene Flagship investments in innovation.

On top of that, our experts in Marketing and Events coordinate the Graphene Flagship's participation in large-audience industrial fairs and organise innovation-orientated events, such as our successful Graphene Marketplaces, in collaboration with European industrial leaders. In 2019, our joint event with Tetra Pak gathered over 500 attendees and was broadcast internationally. It resulted in four NDAs, one signed research contract and the strengthening of our relationship with one of the world's leading packaging companies.

Our scientific events are also shifting towards innovation. Graphene Week 2019 in Helsinki had a dedicated innovation branch, as well as an exhibition that attracted industries interested in graphene and layered materials from all around Europe. We now plan to continue to grow this model, and in the next phase of the project, our Work Package will export our successful models to further expand our reach to European industrial communities.

Cultivating collaboration

Work Package Dissemination is one of the most collaborative teams in the Graphene Flagship. We are continually in close contact with all scientific Divisions and Work Packages, attending their meetings and events, and we work closely with the administrative groups to foster innovation and industrialisa­tion and deliver the latest news from our management.

Our team has several mechanisms to guarantee that all core partners, Associate Members (AMs) and Partnering Projects (PPs) are represented in our news stories and press releases. We coordinate the Network of National Press Officers, liaising with local communication managers that feed us information from their host institutions, and distributing our materials through their own channels to maximise the impact. Moreover, the SCOPE project, funded by the European Commission, has provided support to our AMs and PPs by communicating their results to society, in close collaboration with our Work Package and the specialised news agency SINC.

The Graphene Flagship's scientific and marketing events also aim to broaden our network. Graphene Marketplaces help us to reach the business community, researchers at our key industrial partners and potential investors interested in graphene-enabled technologies. Graphene Week is also expanding its programme to collaborate with other European institutions and networks (COST, FLAG-ERA, EPO and ESA) and prestigious publishers (Springer Nature, IOP Publishing). 

Supporting sustainability and social responsibility

Our team is committed to an open, more diverse and more sustainable project. We collaborate with our Management team to organise two Women in Graphene workshops each year, to challenge gender bias in science, promote gender diversity and provide a support network for professional growth. This initiative will cover an even broader spectrum in the next phase of the project, expanding to Diversity in Graphene and creating new strategies, such as a new mentoring programme, to support underrepresented communities.

We are also closely aligned with the United Nations' Sustaina­ble Development Goals. We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our project, favouring online and virtual gatherings in place of in-person meetings, and reducing the number of printed copies of our marketing materials. We are also moving to more environmentally friendly marketing materials, and we will even reduce the production of marketing materials overall.

Students are a key part of the Graphene Flagship community. Not only do we promote their research through our online profile articles, but we also hold a dedicated event specifically for them: Graphene Study. This conference for early career scientists in the field of graphene and layered materials goes beyond scientific contributions, offering a unique learning and networking experience to our promising young researchers.

Author bio

Graphene Flagship
Graphene Flagship

Bringing together 118 academic and industrial partners in 12 research and innovation projects and 1 coordination and support project, the Graphene Flagship initiative will continue to advance Europe’s strategic autonomy in technologies that rely on graphene and other 2D materials. The initiative, which builds on the previous 10-years of the Graphene Flagship, is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. The 2D-Experimental Pilot Line, addressing the challenges of upscaling 2D material production processes for the semiconductor industry, is another key component of the Graphene Flagship eco-system.