Contrary to the Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University , who initiated a few small-circle table for breakfast meetings in order to very slowly if not droplywise implement the above mentioned secret recommendations to modify the research procurement protocols of public universities with multinational corporations as laid down in the Public Private Partnership Policy and Guidelines , we as KNAW-LOWI needed to react with a simular but much broader initiative adressing not just the Dutch, but also on the European , if not The World , Research Communities.
To do so effectively we had to find a international PR partner with a excellent track record within the world of academia. Not being PR-expert's ourselves we ordered The Boston Consultancy Group to kick off and escort a public procurement process in order to investigate which international partners would be interested.
The final outcome of this BCG tender was, not to our dismay, the Red Bull Company. Their highly entertaining project proposal was to use their deeply within global academia rooted Red Bull University network to launch a massive guerilla marketing campaign simular to their exquisite Mission #Airdrop april24,2012. By labelling their canisters with KNAW's new research procurement guidelines and setting up an accompanying interactive social mediagame in order to stimulate deeper participation they should be able to accomplish our goal far better than any other submitted rivaling PR agencies proposal. Actually their promotional campaign blasted away our KNAW member's expectations to inform the worldwide research community about our proposition to amend the procedures concerning research topic choises at our public universities while procuring global corporations' consultancy & product research proposals, also formerly known as sponsored research.
If you've missed their #Airdrop campaign we invite you to study Red Bull's Airdrop
To get a feel for the depth of penetration within global academia we recommend these curated social media collection's: #Airdrop at Dutch Universities and WorldWide Universities #Airdrop And if you're pressed for time we recommend this short video recap
Though unusual to not commission our project with a classical PR-agency we prefered Red Bull because of their excellent HR management throughout their whole global university markting chain and their deep market penetration. Their methods to sciencewash decades of bad scientific press which was targeted at their core product both impressed and inspired our members efforts to whitewash our own mucked up ( Peter Nijkamp, Diederik Stapel , Mart Bax , Marco Waas , Don Poldermans , Winkelhoff & Abbas & Winkel ) KNAW-LOWI brand as being thé Top Dog science-system integrity guardian of The Netherlands.
So, how did Red Bull accomplish this feat and what can the KNAW learn from Red Bull ?
Well, ... it's their double sided coin that kicked us in our groins. First, they founded their Red Bull University and builded it Up by means of their student brand managers in order to maximize participation of the World Student Body with their products. But to be able to do so succesfully meant that they had to neutralize a highly critical audience so they secondly - so to speak at the flipside of their coin - needed to generate positive science-based Red Bull news. They did so by reaching out financially to those researchers at public universities around the globe who were struggeling to procure funds for their experiments in an environment of evermore declining State based subsidies. Hence these Red Bull sponsored researchers science-founded the basic marketing strategy for their Red Bull University associated student brand managers , who could thus embark on their marketing tactics at their fellow critical students.
By integrating their (invisbly Red Bull sponsored) research about Red Bull within Red Bull's corporate website this branded research became the sciencewashing marketingtool that became so successfull in Red Bull's expansion within our public universities .
After it became clear that Utrecht University had authorized their Commission for Scientific Integrity to start an internal investigation this key-role playing webpage had off course to be re-designed within just a few days in order to protect Red Bull's world wide network of Red Bull branded researchers for a too up and close a scrutiny. And we might say Red Bull was admirably successful in doing so.
To prove their succes we share (need i say secretly ;?) RB's frozen original page . way Red Bull , by re-designing the URL we froze , not only safeguarded their own interests but also those of the KNAW brand. By thus guiding the integrity commissions attention NOT to the broader Red Bull researchers network they provided her with nothing to gauge the role of their own psychofarmacology department within RB's global marketing scheme. As one of our very straight faced KNAW colleages quipped: " Red Bull management showed thus more common sense for the sensibilities of the general public than the researchers who defended themselves with the knock-down argument "but in all of our research-papers we dis.closed our financial ties with Red Bull ! ".
In this fashion Red Bull chaperoned the Commission's mandate to not being stretched up to such an embarrasing proportion as for it to become necessary to demand KNAW’s considerably larger deep inspection potentials. For this maneuver the KNAW will in due time thank Red Bull.
We suggest to do so at the following occasion.
To lift-off KNAW's global re-branding campaign, in which the research procurement guidelines amendations project functions as just a sub-plot, KNAW & LOWI were recently invited by Red Bull management to sign the final contract at a private meeting at Red Bull's Amsterdam HQ right after winding up het "GALA van de Wetenschap". We suggest sending our following representatives:
Prof. dr. J.C. (Hans) Clevers Prof. dr. R.H. (Robbert) Dijkgraaf
Prof. W (Willem).J.M. Levelt Prof. dr. mr. Kees Schuyt ".
Dear reader you can imagine that i am a little bit bespectacled by KNAW’s grand plans. But being unable to put these into the proper context because i only received fragment’s from this with an Omertà sealed report i think that in our quest for clarification we will NOT only demand KNAW - LOWI's approval to publicly answer the following horrid question , but we will also demand KNAW's approval to answer our impossible question within the public theater of the Stadsschouwburg during the science-popularization event "GALA van de Wetenschap" . Moreover would the KNAW be so kind to forward this blog not to firstname.lastname@example.org but to @Foliaweb , as it is to be my secret cast for the 2013; Robbert Dijkgraaf Essay Prijsvraag , to be awarded at the already mentioned GALA ?
So, here it is:
Or put differently: would the KNAW be so kind as to disclose their full
Red Bull - Utrecht University report ?
This question was part of: Red Bull - not just Utrecht University which is one pearl of some Case Studies of a much larger project : University Inc: , the corporate corruption of Research & Higher Education