The official project website was officially launched in October. The website is structured in different sections explaining aims of the project, partners involved and providing different kind of information regarding dissemination activities and any other event where the project is being presented. Parallel to that, the official Twitter account was created. Also in this case the aim is to increase visibility and presence of FutureTDM and related topics in social media channels. Moreover, this channel will be adopted as an important communication tool throughout the whole project duration and afterwards. Needless to say, Tweets about the project start and first presentations of FutureTDM were already posted.
During the first months of the project some tasks (and related deliverables) have been already completed. Essential for the successful outcome of the project is the identification of relevant stakeholders and of the potential areas of engagement and strategies for cross-stakeholder fertilisation. To this aim, the consortium agreed on a precise roadmap: the first step is the identification of well-defined groups (or categories) of stakeholders, so that future engagement and communication activities can be tailored to meet their needs. This is a flexible model with potential to combine or add categories over the course of the project. The second step is the engagement of the stakeholders, along with a general timeline for the activities to be set out, so that it is clear what and when has to be done. The combination of engagement and communication activities will allow the project to reach and hear from the widest possible range of stakeholders in the field of TDM.
The project and the issues it tries to address have been presented in front of different kind of audience and at several venues. Notable examples among others are: firstly, the European Data Forum (November), where industry, research, policymakers and community initiatives met to discuss the challenges of Big Data and the emerging data economy and to develop suitable action plans for addressing these challenges. Secondly, the DISH conference in Rotterdam (December), where a workshop entitled “The future’s all mine!” was organized. In this case, the aim was not only to present the project, but also to describe and discuss the current European situation in the Text and Data Mining (TDM) field. As a matter of fact, TDM is far less prevalent in Europe than in other regions, like United Stated and Asia. Then, in order to change this situation, the European Commission decided to fund two projects (namely FutureTDM and OpenMinTed ) to look into removing barriers to TDM. The venue gave therefore the possibility to get in touch with potential stakeholders and possibly gather their interest in the topic.
Planning the future steps: Knowledge Cafes
The partners are discussing about where and when to organize so called Knowledge cafés. A Knowledge Café is a half-day event (3-4 hours) providing an informal opportunity for 20-25 stakeholders to interact and a forum for discussion on TDM and the FutureTDM project goals. The aim is to locate 4-6 host venues in different European cities with appropriate rooms for informal group discussion over refreshments. Each café will discuss four identified themes, that is, legal clarity, economy, technical infrastructure, and research environment, practices and services. Participants will circulate around tables for group discussions under Chatham House rules so they can speak freely without direct attribution of comments unless consent is provide. The first events are planned for February 2016, at the British Library, London, UK, with a focus on funders and content provider stakeholder groups, and for March 2016, in Berlin, Germany, where the focus will be on economy. Still under evaluation are events co-located with relevant conference in the field, such as the International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2016) in Portorož, Slovenia, the 20th International Conference on Electronic Publishing (ELPUB 2016), in Göttingen, Germany, and the 11th Annual Conference on Open Repositories (OR2016), in Dublin, Ireland.