Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well in my case it would be the clients who come to me to help solve their public communications problems. And that can be anything from 'We are a small coastal town and we want to attract younger families' to 'We are developing the most humancentric mall ever and we want to create a brand that differentiates us from the boxes"
Right now I am working on communications proposals for the Greater Helsinki Region to attract more FDI (Forward Direct Investment).
In any of those the potential input of an ET tank could be minor or major. However in one sense there's a lot of ET in these projects anyway - since my thinking on certain subjects has been influenced by exchanges here.
There are also two speculative projects currently underway with members of ET. So I don't see a problem in finding clients. For many of us they are a natural part of our networks. It's how we work.
by Sven Triloqvist

I have a problem at the moment which illustrates how ET could work because it would use particular talents of the members. It is a mundane problem, but common.
I have a client that produces high quality stainless steel tubing (rectangular only) and sells it around the world. Sizes up to 300 x 400 mm.
We are working on a rebranding, visual identity, and renewal of all print materials.
The problem is that they have a tiny archive of useful pictures of their product in action. They must have used the photo of the facade of Nokia's HQ a hundred times.
Another wrinkle is that 80% of their export goes through agents who are loathe to reveal their clients to my client for fear that orders would go direct. So my client is short of reference pictures.
I have pointed out to them that details are as important as locations. Rectangular steel tube from one manufacturer is very difficult to distinguish from another - visually. So - providing the location is not identified, any pictured neat uses of the product would be useful.
Their principle areas of interest are architecture, construction and renovation, offshore and marine applications (stainless steel is fine in salty air), food processing, fireproofing (better than carbon steel), transport, machinery and Nuclear plant.
We are negotiating with the client about what to do acquire more pictures.
What if ETers who are scattered around Europe and interested in quality photography were to go out and find such applications?
The typical Gorilla prices (a Finnish photo agency) are around 55 - 120€ for reproduction in a single brochure, 175 € for webpage 1 year. 170 for a poster etc etc. The photos would have multiple uses, so the copyright fees add up. The client maybe prefer to buy outright, which I'd put at 500 - 1000 € - but it is just a guess.
Naturally it would be pay on usage, not on spec.
If anyone is interested I can provide more information and a better brief. I must run this past the client, but they are in trouble with this and something has to be done. Sending out a good photographer in Finland, let alone abroad, is going to cost € 500 -1000 a day at least.
See the diary on this subject for more info
by Sven Triloqvist

In typical Finnish style, they have earlier taken the view that 'We make the best, we deliver the best - they will come". Now they realise that they must position themselves more clearly and highlight their good reputation.
This is especially so in a market that is seeing cheap but dodgy stainless  steel out of China. One day there will be an engineering surprise in which structural stainless will fail to perform to the ISO or German spec in extreme conditions. A reputation for quality would then be more valuable.
by Sven Triloqvist

They also support a major symphony orchestra and own two rare violins that are entrusted to musicians in the orchestra.
The cases that those violins are transported in have stainless steel tube frames?
by ceebs

Actually the more I think about it the more I think I'm right. Those violins should be in cases made from the companies product. preferably with the tubular structure on the outside of the box, make it obviously the  companies product,  etch company logos on the outside of the boxes. (unless they are in original cases that form part of a set) they are a major advertising oppertunity.
by ceebs

In all seriousness, why not?  A cello case, for example, a professional cellist would trust costs around $4,000 US.  True the case would have to weigh 5 lbs (2.5 kilos) or less -- the less the better.
It could develop into a profitable sideline.
by ATinNM

Are you studying language processing.. and nobody has directed you to send me an e-mail?????
If you are in the NLP business..mail is in order....

You have mentioned that what you want to do is research natural language processing but in order to support it without taking money from the military industrial complex you buy, refurbish and sell houses. So you've set yourself up in the way I outline in the diary: a "gainful" activity undertaken "half time" so you can devote the other half to the "vocational" activity. I have mentioned the research university as a model, but there's also the "artist with a day job" model.
I am discounting the possibility of getting grants or and endowment, of course, but maybe I shouldn't.
by Migeru

I voted - I just want to blog in my spare time - but what I meant there was, I only have my free time in which to blog but I'd still like to be involved in think tank activities.
This thread reminds me of the Bevan Foundation which is Wales' only social justice think tank.  Highly credible, realistic and very accessible reports and the director has an excellent reputation.  It is funded by members who subscribe, and through the income generated by doing commissioned research and reports.
I don't know anything of the detail regarding how it was set up but it is only a few years old. I've commissioned research from them and it has been outstanding. As far as I can tell, the bulk of the Director's work is commissioned but when she has enough time, she follows up her own areas that she has wanted to do research on.  It is the kind of organisation that I would gladly volunteer my own time to to support research on topics I'm interested in.
So I could see ET developing something like that.  Perhaps not commissioned work initially, but if people took a lead on their subject area and others were able to support finding data sources, doing lit reviews and data analysis under the lead of one or two people per topic then perhaps some reports or research studies could get underway. Anyone with a research background can advise on methodology and so on.
I'd be happy to put my time into something like that.
by In Wales

Last week I was asked to do some preliminary research on the idea of a non-profit that is affiliated with Universities and  for-profits. One such entity is "partners in health"
The idea behind this is that many funders prefer to fund services, not so much research...at least this is true in the health care field...not so sure about the political/economic/etc/etc world. Having a non-profit allows for charitable giving with tax write-offs (or no taxes), and it can affiliate with Universities and for-profits, who can support the service-oriented non-profit, whereas the non-profit can benefit from the higher visibility Unis and corps.
by whataboutbob

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 12:16:38 AM EST

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