Clear Communication Associates


Located in Milton Keynes UK, CCA is a multi-disciplinary consultancy in managing information, innovation and change (including capacity development and diversification). It was set up in 1984 by researchers in artificial intelligence, from Open University UK and University of Edinburgh, to handle the research element of innovative information system projects (business-to-consumer, business-to-business, smart-city-to-smart-city, ecosystem-to-ecosystem).

Its projects are cross-disciplinary and its clients and partners include the public sector (e.g., councils, ministries) and the private sector (e.g., sector leaders in IT, manufacturing, communications). Its associates include interface designers, venture capitalists and knowledge brokers, as well as academics (professors, researchers) specializing in information spaces and systems for cities and manufacturing ecosystems, innovation, entrepreneurship, e-skills, e-knowledge, HCI and evaluation.

One of the earliest EU projects that CCA had a major research role in was ADVISER (developing web services for virtual science parks), followed by ADVISER II. As in later projects (e.g. ASTERISMOS, using satellite data, city-level data, mash-ups), CCA helped design, implement, and evaluate web-based services to provide end-users (in ADVISER: researchers, industrial R&D laboratories, and SMEs) with access to what-if tools that permitted innovative and useful combinations of information (in ADVISER: research data and contact persons from EU-funded projects).

In recent years, in its exploration of ways to exploit findings from EC RTD projects to benefit end-users and to help projects to achieve sustainability, CCA works with clients to co-develop, then execute, strategies for anticipating and interpreting knowledge needs and flows, for example in smart cities. CCA then helps clients to respond to those needs and flows in ways that use advances in areas such as Knowledge Management, Open Innovation, Road Maps and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) to improve the performance of systems for knowledge dissemination, exploitation and refinement, for example in education, training, updating, decision-support, entrepreneurship and innovation. Current and recent clients include ministries, national agencies and corporations in EMEA and the USA.

CCA researchers have much relevant experience of cross-disciplinary supporting roles in projects, for example requirements, technology management, knowledge media, technology-enhanced learning, school-industry collaboration, technology-transfer and research dissemination.

Key people

Paul Lefrere
Founder-director of CCA

Paul has much experience relevant to Capacity Development, Smart Cities and Factories of the Future (FOF), in such fields as Technology Management, Knowledge Management, Open Innovation, Road Maps and TEL, being principal investigator or work package leader in some 20 RTD projects including the ones listed on this website.

His academic experience includes decades as a university researcher, e.g. in the UK OU's Knowledge Media Institute and at University of Tampere, Finland; and previously at the OU's Institute of Educational Technology, where he co-founded the JISC IMS Centre. His industry experience includes board-level appointments (e.g., as Director of Innovation at Images, and Executive Director of eLearning for Microsoft in EMEA). He advises globally on commercialization of collaborative research in fields relevant to Sustainable Cities and Innovation in Industry.

Giorgio Da Bormida
Director of Strategy

Giorgio has 20 years of experience in management and international business development in innovation and technology. Giorgio Da Bormida has been project manager of many European Commission as well as national projects.

He has been the project coordinator of MOBIlearn, a joint EC-NSF-DEST project on mobile learning and ambient intelligence ( and GEMOM a FP7 STREP project on security ( Da Bormida has served often as workpackage leader, especially in exploitation and dissemination. Da Bormida's scientific background is in eLearning, ubiquitous learning, information design, virtual reality, learning and training environments, he's authored book chapters and papers in international conferences.