Execute the Programme
How should proposals be solicited?
How should proposals be selected?
How should projects be executed?
The first stage in programme execution is to decide how to obtain and evaluate project proposals. This will depend on whether projects are to be done in-house or using third party providers. However, in all cases, proposals should be requested.
If using third party providers, proposals may be requested directly from them or through Open Calls. Direct solicitation relies on knowing who the best providers are in advance of requesting proposals. This may be possible for experimental or prototype development projects. However, for longer term basic or applied research, Open Calls may be more appropriate since funders will not necessarily be fully aware of all research initiatives and providers worldwide.
If a number of proposals are received that address the same issue, then it may be necessary to shortlist them. We have developed a ranking process similar to the prioritisation process that also generates a graphical plot showing chance of success versus business benefits. This enables a shortlist to be generated quickly and displayed in a way that is simple to understand and interpret.
Once a contract has been awarded and the project is under way, there should be regular and active engagement between the funders and the technology providers. For some university-based projects, the project duration may be three years or more and most universities only convene progress meetings once every six months. However, we recommend that short interim progress reports every three months should also be requested, since a project can change direction significantly in six months if it is not monitored.
We have regularly run seminars and training sessions on what makes a good research project and also on the key provisions of research contracts. These include projects from both universities and commercial organisations and include real examples and case studies.