Many of you attended our PO Days event in Stockholm on 4-5 September. At the end of the first day we had a short ceremony to celebrate our 20-year anniversary, which included a 7-minute video with testimonials* of many different members of our Community. The common message that came out of this is clear: ITEA is important for its Community and it is in the heart of many of its members. Personally, I found it heart-warming to watch it with the audience of close to 300 people with spontaneous applause at the end.
We have seen many changes in ITEA since its first labelling in October 1998. The shift in participation from mainly big companies to SMEs that grow based on their international exposure. The growth of our project Community: from tens of participants in our early PO Days events to around 300 at present. The growing attention for and involvement of customers and end users in, for example, the annual customer workshops. But also, the communication and ICT support to the projects with the ITEA Magazine, the Success stories, the Impact stream, and at the more operational side the tooling around project ideas, proposal submission and evaluation and the project action lists.
So, is it all finished and complete? No, by no means. When we gradually start to think about a successor programme for ITEA 3, we see many ways to further strengthen the contributions to the innovation landscape. At our DC-Board meeting in June, where both industry and public authorities were represented, several directions were already suggested. One of them was to open up even more towards becoming a real toolbox for industry and public authorities by means of, for example, topical project Calls or through bi- or multi-lateral Calls on some strategic target of participating countries. Also, we see clear and concrete potential to further strengthen the customer involvement.
So, as usual, there is still a lot of work ahead of us. But back to here and now: issue 31 of our Magazine that you have before you. It again describes a rich set of topics. From the impact of automated testing in the ATAC project to a personal story from one of the valued members of our Steering Group who started her own company. And, of course, we reflect on the PO Days in Stockholm with the 20-year celebration. Finally, I would like to highlight the second part of our story on how the State-of-the-Art has progressed in ITEA projects in a wide variety of areas. And, as usual, there is a lot more besides.
I wish you a good read,
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20 years of ITEA: The changing of the guard in the ITEA Steering Group
Double interview with Ronald Begeer and Maria de Álvaro Torán