iMAT

Brief

During the second year of Alta Scuola Politecnica, students participate in multidisciplinary projects, focusing on real and relevant problems, proposed as a collaboration between Universities and external institutions. Teams consist of 5/6 students from different schools and are therefore intrinsically multidisciplinary. iMAT focuses on the application of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (IBM Watson) for automatic literature screening and materials data extraction via NLP/ML to speed up properties’ assessment. One prior objective was the spread of this technology in the EU industry, which I was responsible of.
What

Communication and Video Design

When

2018/19

Context

ASP Team Project supported by European Material Modelling Council

Team

Multidisciplinary team

My role

Communication management

Teamwork

The team was working in parallel on three topics: the selection and development of the best machine learning tools to address the challenge, the understanding of a sample application case on which to apply the algorithm, and the communication of the project advancement to a the desired targets. I was personally taking care of the latter, in continuous collaboration with the Team Leader. It was important to create a link between the three working processes in order to produce accessible content to share.

Communication strategy

The final strategy was drawn over a period of 9 months, from October 2018 to June 2019 (expected end of the development phase of an ASP project, followed by the report writing). It involved a main message, the expected content production and its division over the different channels, and a plan of action. The selected channels were LinkedIn, a newsletter, and a web page, moreover a series of physical events in which we got the opportunity to present our work to experts of the EU industry.
Website
LinkedIn
Newsletter
Video series
Meetings

Corporate image

The language needed to be professional and reliable. Nevertheless, the lack of an existing on-going conversation with the recipients meant that we could not expect a full attention since the beginning, nor an interest in making an effort to decode the complexity of the topic. We had to find a way to simplify without jeopardising the gravity and credibility of the message. Moreover, the outcome should fit in a short time, stolen from the busy life of managers and industrial staff.
Logo: the logotype integrates the common representations of Materials Science (a squared subdivided in smaller components), and Artificial Intelligence (the electronic chip).
Palette: the colour palette was selected among Adobe Color’s suggestions based on variety, contrast, professionality, and a recall to the technological field.
Graphic: the adoption of a linear graphic grammar, based on figurative but synthetic icons, allowed to reduce the articulated and theoretical processes to an intuitive form of expression, without losing professionality and authority in more descriptive illustrations.

Website

We needed an archive, where to gather together all the material produced. Moreover, we needed a reference to deepen our message, to link with quicker and agiler spreads (on social media), so that communication could be informed for those interested in getting to know more, while not overwhelming in the daily flow.

LinkedIn and newsletter

The LinkedIn page aims to keep a continuous conversation with the interested audience as well as to enlarge it thanks to the social media peer-to-peer structure. The creation of the posts is a shared responsibility among the team. The newsletter is a non-invasive way to keep the most interested followers continuously updated. It requires a voluntary subscription and informs about events and new steps in the project.

Videos

The most elaborated and characteristic component of the Communication strategy is the video series. As we needed to promote the knowledge and understanding of a complex and extremely technical project within an audience of working people, able to dedicate only few minutes to get informed on new researches, we figured that a multimedia channel, like simple video-infographics, could effectively provide an intuitive and quick insight to share on social media. In order to create a storytelling of the project, five videos were produced of 1’30” each, which were wrapped up in the following.

Wrap-up

Being iMat an extremely technical and niche project, it was an important result for us to gather in a few months (from April to June 2019) a pool of 100 LinkedIn followers, and 40 newsletter subscribers. The representing poster was awarded as Best Poster Presentation in occasion of the EMMC-CSA Workshop on Industrial impact of materials modelling, held in Turin from the 8th to the 10th of July 2019. Finally, it was a truly interdisciplinary teamwork, in which competencies had to overlap and integrate with each other, which I believe proved to be successful in the multifaceted perspective we ended up with.