From concept to reality: leading the dissemination and communication of HubIT

During the last 42 months, LOBA has been in charge of the dissemination and communication activities of the HubIT project. What did this entail? Simply put: to successfully disseminate the project’s results to its target audience as well as turning the consortium ideas into reality and offering solutions to their communication needs. However, accomplishing all of this was not as simple and straightforward as one might think.

HubIT was an EU-funded project consisting of 14 partners – including LOBA – from 10 different countries (starting from the southwest corner of Europe with Portugal, all the way across the continent until Israel). It aimed at bringing together technology and social sciences and humanities experts across Europe (and beyond) in order to foster responsible research and innovation in ICT. The HubIT consortium did this by delivering more than 30 events, by developing the “European Framework Model for Responsible ICT Innovation” and by raising awareness to “Responsible Research and Innovation” through different tools and channels, among other activities.

LOBA’s grounded experience in communication and digital solutions entailed that it would be the partner leading the above-mentioned activities in terms of communication, marketing, dissemination, web development, design as well as monitoring the other partners activities, making sure the project performed well in terms of its impact. Having this role, and specially in a project as HubIT, meant that we needed to be always on call, in constant contact with the members of the consortium and to be fully aware of the activities that were taking place among all work packages.

To start the activities, we developed a communication and dissemination plan with all the tools, channels, target audiences, strategies and messages that would serve as a guideline for all the project partners to achieve the largest possible impact for the project. We put the plan into practice and, with the contribution of all the consortium members, we created the first communication materials and channels of the project and kicked off our communication efforts.

One of the major activities of the HubIT project was to transform the “European Framework Model for Responsible ICT Innovation” into a tangible solution. The EFM is a set of ten digital resources supporting all the possible cooperative tasks among researchers and developers of heterogenous teams where a tight synergy between ICT and SSH is sought. With the leadership of Link Campus University, all partners were in charge of conceptualizing each of these resources. LOBA was responsible for the concept of two of them but mainly for creating the platform that would turn the vision of each partner into (virtual) reality.

We delivered all sort of solutions. From appealing awareness raising factsheets to our own HubIT social platform. From complex databases to comprehensive policy briefs. From filtered intricate lists to a custom questionnaire toolbox. We even developed from scratch a free-of-charge accessible-to-all platform to organize brokerage events of matchmaking one-to-one meetings. All of this started with a concept from the consortium and ended with the launch of the HubIT Metropolis, an online space where everyone can make ICT closer to society.

In addition to this, we supported partners in all their activities and made sure we adapted our materials and tools to the different needs the project had during its lifespan. We promoted the HubIT events, we developed materials to communicate its activities, we built the HubIT members list and launched periodic newsletters, we kept the website updated with the latest news and raised awareness through social media. We also organised our own events such as three European annual conferences and a set of speed-dating events. The list goes on.  

Don’t get me wrong. We had our share of setbacks. From having to re-analyse our key messages in order to successfully reach our audience, to being struck by COVID-19, which meant adapting to a multitude of online solutions for the communication and organisation of the final events of the project. So many partners, so many activities, so many different visions, it was hard work. But it paid off.

The project ended officially in July 2021 with a very positive evaluation by the European Union representatives, and I can’t help but feeling a sense of relief, but, above all, a great satisfaction for a job well done. A mission not only accomplished but that surpassed all the goals that were set. I feel very proud to have been part of such an important project for Europe (and beyond) and to have worked alongside such brilliant minds. I can only wish we may all meet again face-to-face once more in the future.

Thank you to all that have joined and supported me during this HubIT journey! A special thank you to my LOBA colleagues and to my consortium members.

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