ARRAY Development

R&D Bulletin

Exploration and Prototyping of an
Online Science Contract Information Service

This project involved development of a prototype electronic version of the Research and Development Bulletin (restricted access). A change in format from paper to online media was seen as one essential element in the process of maintaining the Bulletin as a viable and essential tool of leadership and change in the Canadian advanced technology sector.

Because the Bulletin already had very valuable content, the focus was on improving the delivery mechanism using Internet and Web-based tools. The overall goal was to make a good publication into a timely "must-consider" information source.

The prototype online service was designed to support proactive knowledge transfer from the federal government science based departments and the advanced industrial R&D community to the potential users of such technologies in Canada and around the globe. A crucial element of the project was conducting an online survey to determine what users wanted from the Bulletin. The Web-based survey was found to be more efficient and much less costly than traditional manual and phone methods of user-needs assessment.

The prototype explored the following issues:
i. The principal elements required for a successful online science contract information service.
ii. Web-based secure delivery infrastructure.
iii. Identification of newly required electronic publishing, marketing and coordinating skills and resources.
iv. Potential for proactive penetration of "buyers" for advanced Canadian technology.
v. Potential for cost recovery through transactional delivery.
vi. Limited feedback from industrial lead users on the value of Internet delivery mechanisms.
vii. Potential for leveraging the knowledge transfer initiatives conducted by other government agencies (NRC and IRAP, IC, NSERC, MRC, FAITC, CIDA, IDRC, DOE, AAFC, F&O, NatRes C, as well as Crown Corporations like CSA and AECL, academic organizations and some provincial bodies).

A functional prototype was transferred to the Government Telecommunications and Informatics Service (GTIS) which was responsible for full-scale implementation.