Communication & Collaboration

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MFG Communication & Collaboration Page 1 of 5

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MFG Communication & Collaboration Page 2 of 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS

I PROCESS ... 3

I.1 Process in General ... 3

I.1.1 What? ... 3

I.1.1.1 Description Communication & Collaboration ... 3

I.2 Parts of the Process ... 4

I.2.1 MFG Tools ... 4

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MFG Communication & Collaboration Page 3 of 5

I

PROCESS

I.1

P

ROCESS IN

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ENERAL I.1.1 What?

I.1.1.1 Description Communication & Collaboration

Communication can be defined as the process of sending and receiving information among people. Shannon’s model is often described as the beginning of modern communication theory as it fits for interpersonal communication as well as to mass communication.

Information source: e.g. a person who creates a message.

Message, sent by the information source and received by the destination.

Transmitter: can be a medium (e.g. telephone) but also the sound of the voice in face-to-face communication

Signal, which flows through a channel, e.g. electronic signals, radio waves, or words and pictures in a book.

Channel: The most common channels are air, light, electricity, radio waves, paper, and postal systems.

Noise, in the form of secondary signals that obscure or confuse the signal carried.

Receiver. In Shannon's conception, the receiving telephone instrument. In face to face communication a set of ears (sound) and eyes (gesture). In television, several layers of receiver, including an antenna and a television set.

 A destination. Presumably a person who consumes and processes the message.

The word collaboration is derived from the Latin word “collaborare” meaning: to work jointly with others. Today, the word describes the joint efforts and inputs from different people in a working environment.

Within the last years, the aspects of collaboration have gained in importance: new internet technologies have created a new kind of “mass collaboration” based on improvements like high speed internet, wireless connection and web-based collaboration tools like wikis or blogs. This allows people from all over the world to efficiently communicate and share ideas through the internet. One impressive example of this mass collaboration is the online “Wikipedia”, where thousands of people contributed to currently 14 billion articles in more than 260 languages.

(For some more information: Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything 2006).

Within the topic of Human Resources Management, ‘Communication & Collaboration’ is considered to be a key issue.

Information

source Destination

Trans-mitter Channel Receiver

Noise

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MFG Communication & Collaboration Page 4 of 5 Figure 2: HR model of Technology Transfer Officers

All three HR activities can be used to address a difficult contemporary HR challenge within technology transfer: to foster awareness on technology transfer in researcher communities and to convince them to come forward with their ideas/technologies and possibly consider starting up their own venture.

Of course, also beyond this focus, communications and collaboration skills and strategies are an important topic for the technology transfer process. Within the process of technology transfer, both aspects are important, e.g.

a) between researchers (common research projects)

b) between researchers and TTO (easy detection of promising transfer projects within team activities, evaluating transfer opportunities, establishment of long-term trusting relationships) c) between researchers and companies (evaluating cooperation possibilities).

There is a close connection of the topic “communication and collaboration” and the topic “Networking and clustering”. So for some more information on setting up, managing and monitoring a community, please have a look at the topics related to “Networking and Clustering”.

I.2

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ARTS OF THE

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ROCESS I.2.1 MFG Tools

The MFG communication tools are used to facilitate the exchange between different teams and to foster collaboration within MFG. For every institution it is very important to set in place tools for efficient knowledge management and internal collaboration that allows connecting knowledge, projects and people. For MFG as public Innovation Agency for ICT and Media working on a broad variety of projects with different international partners, this is essential for the daily work.

The described tools are part of MFG knowledge management, which was recently awarded for its excellence by the German Minister of Economics and Technology. It has to be mentioned that the tools are not specially tailored for the technology transfer process. However, they are adaptable to different contexts. MFG internal communication and collaboration tools consist of 4 elements, an Intranet, an internal WIKI, a community relationship management tool and an instant messaging system.

The tools described in the practice by MFG give an overview on why these tools were started, how they are used and on which software they are based. The document closes with some experiences on the implementation process and the actual use.

AWARENESS CREATION MOTIVATION & INCENTIVES TRAINING COMMUNICATION & COLLABORATION

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MFG Communication & Collaboration Page 5 of 5 I.2.2 IBBT CoCoNut

CoCoNut is an internal IBBT project involving researchers from many domains and backgrounds including sociologists, economics, engineers, law researchers, mathematicians and many more. The project can shortly be described as “IBBT doing research on IBBT”. This means, it focuses on finding out how researchers at IBBT work and interact. In a second step, the results of this research are used to design the ideal collaboration/sharing environment to work efficiently while being geographically spread. The overall aim is therefore, to create a smart, interactive, attractive collaboration & knowledge sharing platform for IBBT researchers and partners. This platform is called MyBBT.

More details on the approach can be found in the document of this IBBT practice. It can provide help to find out how the communication processes within an organisation work and how they can be improved according to the users’ wishes.

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