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Interview with Kai Siegenthaler

  1. How do the management procedures established, promote transparency and efficiency in project management throughout the duration of the project?

The transparency among the project partners is realized by regular exchange meetings on various levels of the project organization. Apart from that, the project documentation is done via a shared platform. The partners involved in the project have formed a strong and reliable team, the information flow is happening smoothly.

  1. BASF is tasked with establishing the initial Data Management Plan (DMP). Could you elaborate on the approach for data generation, processing, and collection outlined in this plan? How will the DMP ensure that collected data and research outputs adhere to the FAIR principle?

The data management plan has been worked out by involving all project partners. It specifies what data are expected to be generated, which formats they are going to come up, how they are processed, shared and documented between the partners in the project team. The FAIR principle means that data in the project are treated in a way that they are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. All these features are defined for the research data within our project.

  1. As the leader in overall project management and monitoring, how does BASF ensure effective communication, risk mitigation, and financial management across all partners? Could you provide insights into the use of REBIOLUTION’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in monitoring project progress?

The project is governed by regular exchange and reporting. We have applied structures in which each workstream regularly meets up and during these meetings does not only address the scientific aspects but at the same time reflects on deviations from the project plan, reviewing the KPIs, identifying potential risks and taking action to minimize any impact on the project flow. BASF, as the project coordinator, keeps an overview about the progress and potential issues in the workstreams, coordinates the implementation of measures and transparently communicates with the REA Project Office.

  1. Could you explain how the establishment of an External Advisory Board (EAB) contributes to aligning the project’s progress with market needs? How does BASF incorporate feedback from the EAB into the project’s development, particularly in the context of periodic reporting to the EC?

In the development of products for specific applications it is crucial to understand the needs of those who are using the product in their part of the value chain. For example, when working on a product for agricultural films, it is necessary to hear what farmers, who are applying such films to their fields, have to say regarding necessary performance features. In the end, it’s not only the fact that a material is completely biodegradable under soil conditions but it’s much more: Can the material be processed into films that can then be laid out without issues using standard machinery, is it stable enough to do its job for the complete growth period and are economics adding up for the farmers, as well? We try our best to tune all the material properties in a way that they perform best in the target applications.

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