Thank You for Supporting CII Research

A message from Daniel Oliveira, CII Associate Director for Funded Studies

The year 2020 has been a challenging one and CII, as a nonprofit volunteer organization, certainly felt the effects of the pandemic and its impact on our industry. Despite these challenges, CII research had a productive year. We kicked off five new research teams, managed another 13 ongoing teams, and broadcasted eight new presentations. (For a list of all of our new resources, visit this page: Research Projects Reporting Out in 2020.)  

All of this progress was made possible because over 200 members engaged in research projects. On behalf of the Funded Studies Committee, thank you to all of you that took part in research projects, supported data collection, or took time to learn about new research and bring it to your company. My special thanks to the Funded Studies Committee members, past and present, for their continued support. 

The year brought many positive changes and I wanted to mention them here because I believe they are creating value for CII members.  

First, we have diversified our research portfolio, including both tactical and strategic projects. An example of the former is Research Team 382, which is investigating technologies that will help organizations eliminate safety incidents resulting from last-minute changes.  On the strategic side, we launched Research Team 380, which is looking into how Circular Economy can bring opportunities for our industry. This is a topic that many anticipate being critical in the medium- and long-term, but that we hope to start addressing in the short-term. 

A diverse research portfolio also means more diverse teams. In our Circular Economy project, for the first time, we have a team where more than half of the members are women, and both Chair and Co-Chair are women. We have also encouraged teams to reach out in the broader industry to find backgrounds and expertise that may not be present at CII currently when collecting data. 

Second, as a result of pandemic-related restrictions, we have adjusted (and continue to adjust) research logistics, and I expect a lot of these changes to persist in the long run.  

Most of our research teams were able to adapt and continue their meetings and data collection efforts in online environments. We learned to use new tools for collaboration like (my personal favorite) Mural - a big online sticky notes wall where we can collaborate online. One positive side-effect of these changes is that we are now better able to accommodate the participation of international members.  

We are learning to work with teams that are slightly smaller while creating ways to bring expertise and knowledge from outside the team members. 

We also tested the idea of hosting webinars ahead of our kickoff meetings, which helped onboard academics, recruit team members to the projects, and create awareness of our projects beyond the CII membership.  

Lastly, we learned the value of broadcasting our research presentations on online channels and we intend to continue to create online engagement even as we resume face-to-face conference events. 

We are looking forward to 2021, and hoping to meet our members in person again. We will continue to manage positive change in our processes, and deliver value to CII members through research and development. 

Date posted: December 16, 2020