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Communications

LISBON RRI TOOLS HUBS MEETING ABSTRACTS
 

The Austrian and Slovenian RRi-Tools Hub
Katharina Handler, Ilse Marschalek and Gorazd Weiss | Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna

On November 3rd we conducted a stakeholder consultation workshop in Vienna and in Ljubljana on November 14, 2014. These three examples were documented in Austria: Sparkling science is an example of public engagement and citizen science, bringing researchers and young school students together in collaborative research projects. Fteval is an Austrian wide evaluation platform to encourage evaluations for an optimal strategic planning of RTD-policy in Austria. NanOpinion is a recently terminated FP 7 project on public engagement on nanotechnologies, which implemented innovative outreach and engagement practices especially for difficult to reach audiences. In Slovenia two examples of promising practices were documented in detail: Communicating Science in the Research Institutions (www.arrs.si); and House of Experiments: Non-formal promotion of science and education (www.he.si).

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A social innovation factory
Kaat Peeters | SIF
Bénédicte Gombault and Sara Heesterbeek | King Badouin Foundation

The KBF organised three RRI-consultation workshops in Belgium and Luxemburg. These countries have their own specificities: they are both multi-lingual, resulting in Belgium in relatively separate communities. There are some RRI pioneers, especially in co-creation, participation and transition, but the concept still has to be mainstreamed. The workshops raised valuable practices that were not connected to RRI before. It demonstrated a clear need for good practices, guidance and tools for RRI.
The inspiring practice we present you today is the Social Innovation Factory: a social innovation accelerator driven by CSO’s and industry. This broad network promotes and coaches social entrepreneurship that formulates innovative solutions to societal challenges. SIF supports engineers that design sustainable procedures to sublimate waist into value, smart networks that elevate people from loneliness or help people to get their question asked and heard in our information dense society.

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Building RRI communities in Bulgaria and Romania
Petya Gancheva | RCCI

Building a community of practice in the countries covered by the RCCI Hub – Romania and Bulgaria very much resembles the completion of a puzzle. Some of the parts are visible from the first sight – we take them immediately and we continue building the parts of the picture around them until the moment we have the whole image Romanian Association for Innovation designed a Romanian national standard - a very useful tool for organizations with similar research that develop new solutions. The process for the standard elaboration involves open communication with all members and a standard public debate. Bulgarian Programme Access to Information is fighting for making the institutions more open and transparent in order to operate as institutions with democratic values and principles. It is monitoring institutions transparency through an index.

 

Czech RRI promising practices
Pavel Petrle and Katerini Dalasová | Techmania

RRI in the Czech Republic may be illustrated by the following practical examples: SpeechTech, a project aimed at overcoming language barriers among handicapped viewers of the Czech Television; SoMoPro, a South Moravian Programme for Distinguished Researchers designed to create research opportunities and to support scientific projects for top-researchers in the region; ReStep, a project defining the possibilities and parameters for renewable energy sources.; RVP.cz, a portal established as the main methodological support for teachers and to help implementation of national curriculum in schools, and, finally, AGinfo, with a focus on the agriculture in order to restrict the using of the pesticides.

 

New approaches to RRI in Denmark
Mai Murmann, Sheena Laursen and Caroline Thon | Experimentarium

Two quite different cases from two Danish institutions demonstrate emerging RRI approaches in Denmark. PULSE is an exhibition promoting a healthy life style at the Danish Science Centre Experimentarium. PULSE aims to transform the everyday health practice of the visitors. Consequently designers and concept developers from Experimentarium have engaged with researchers in co-designing with families from different socioeconomic settings. Blueprint for Change is a communication program developed by the medical company Novo Nordisk to communicate their sustainability strategy to stakeholders. Through stakeholder inclusion it creates reflection, openness and transparency about the processes of working towards sustainable solutions and shared value creation. This helps the company optimize its value creation and inspire others. Both cases demonstrate how different motivations, narratives and degree of institutional change can affect the mind-set of RRI in institutions in Denmark.

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RRI in the Baltics
Liina Vaher | Science Centre AHHAA and Tomas Sabaliauskas | Institute for Vocational Innovation

In December 2014 the first pan-baltic consultation workshop was held in Science Centre AHHAA. At the first time all stakeholders came together and discussed different aspects of RRI. Although it was hard to find the meaningful touch what leads people to implement this nice concept as it is expected in philosophy and policy. In HUBs Open Day we like to introduce some ongoing actions which support the implementation of RRI and seems to be meaningful to the stakeholders groups.

 

RRI experiences in Germany
Norbert Steinhaus | Wila Bonn

The European hubs and their members are one of the pillars of RRI Tools project. This presentation offers information about the German Hub and its activities, starting with background data on research and innovation in Germany, followed by some key statements from stakeholder consultations. The presentation will introduce the exciting projects and practices Platform Forschungswende, LENA (Guideline for Sustainable Management) and Science Shops, which were explored when exchanging with stakeholders. The presentation will end with an outlook to upcoming RRI related events in Germany.

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RRI in Greek and Cypriot contexts
Eugenia Kypriotis | Ellinogermaniki Agogi

During autumn 2014, Ellinogermaniki Agogi organized stakeholder workshops in both Cyprus and Greece. In order to get a representative sample of participants two workshops were held in north of Greece and Athens. Participants represented all stakeholder groups, and promising practices presented by all attendees. As both countries are in the middle of an economic crisis, promising practices seemed to focus on issues that would look into the innovation aspect much more than in the past, and would look at aspects not well embedded in the culture of Greek and Cypriot society such as involvement in civil society associations, small scale initiatives involving different partners, new collaborations etc. Promising practices in our context might not well represent all aspects of RRI as it is regularly done in other European countries but there is certainly a tendency to experiment with new initiatives and to connect with previously  very much disconnected stakeholders (see for example universities and their connection with industries, CSOs, policy makers etc.).

 

Access to Science for Everyone - Equal opportunities and easier access to science and technology
Péter Szilasi | MOBILIS

In the flash-talk of Mobilis Science Center of Hungary, Gyor we wish to talk about our own holistic approach to science communication with special focus to equal opportunity access to science. We believe that this complex, multi-dimension science communication that targets very diverse age, gender and ability/disability groups in a long-run can help building up a healthier thinking society. Coordinated, but specialized and targeted actions for girls, seniors, groups of disabled people, or talented individuals as well as families experiencing the joy of science together help us to promote RRI aspects to a very wide audience, while at the same time raising awareness and social acceptance to science and technology related careers gives us the hope to feed our region of influence with sufficient amount of professionals with a right mindset.

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The state of the art of RRI in Italy and Switzerland
Valentina Amorese and Ricardo Porro | Fondazione Cariplo

At first glance, and like other Mediterranean countries, Italy has a very traditional approach to knowledge construction – one that clearly separates science from society. Examples of co-production of science are limited and public engagement exercises are rare. Italian cultural and traditional background tends to clearly define the roles scientists and society play in the practice of knowledge construction. Nonetheless, there are local examples of RRI practices that deserve attention in light also of the difficulties of the context. Concrete examples of RRI promising practices will be presented: Agora, UGO and Food Policy.
The Swiss approach to science and society is peculiar and reflects the complexity of this country. Being at the crossroad between four different cultures Switzerland naturally embraces a critical and open approach. In addition, the referendum system reflects a spirit of direct engagement and transparency that is exceptional within the EU context. For these reasons the level of the debate and openness that characterizes the relation between science and society is undoubtedly inspiring.

 

RRI in Ireland
Diane McSweeney | Science Gallery Dublin

Exciting conversations and changes are happening in Ireland at the moment in relation to Responsible Research and Innovation including change in our educational system linked to how young people engage with science in school, Irish researchers and scientists attempts to shape a new national strategy for scientific research, and Irish citizens seeking more engagement with science be it in entertainment or via responsible journalism. Science Gallery Dublin is the hub for Ireland in the RRI Tools project. Linked to Trinity College Dublin, with strong connections to a vibrant community of researchers in both academia and industry and a community of contributors aged 15 - 25, Science Gallery Dublin brokers the link between these groups and the platform for these important conversations. This talk will focus on existing practices of RRI in Ireland and practices that are emerging in the near future.

 

Promising practices in South East Europe
Divna Vuckovic and Aleksandra Drecun | Centre for the Promotion of Science

The SEE RRI Tools Hub brings together stakeholders from five Southeast European countries: Albania, Bosna & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. The stakeholders identified a number of cases of promising practices in the region and selected the most prominent ones:
BioSense CENTER, fostering ICT solutions in Agriculture, ecology, environmental protection and forestry through the interaction with end users in developing ICT applications and innovative agriculture solutions.
SOCIOTAL, FP7 EU funded project for creating the socially aware and citizen-centric Internet of Things.
EuroBioAct Project, aiming at developing bioethical standards in direct interaction with research community, local government, CSOs and general public.
Center For The Promotion Of Science, an organization that brings science closer to the public, fostering science promotion initiatives and spreading scientific culture to the whole society.

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RRI in Spain, already a reality?
Rosina Malagrida | Irsi Caixa

Results of the workshops with national stakeholders show that the culture of RRI is already present in different contexts in Spain although not under this terminology. As a result of the current economic situation and the increasing social tendency towards collaboration, stakeholders are looking for new ways of improving R&I. According to this preliminary analysis, the RRI in Spain seems to be basically promoted by Industry and the Scientific Community. For example, Spain is the country with more Living Labs registered in the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL).
Some other national practices aligned with the new RRI paradigm have been also identified, including for example, projects to co-develop research, participatory governance initiatives, technology assessment projects, tools for education, etc. However, there is still a long way to run to widely implement RRI in Spain and RRI Tools provides a great opportunity to promote it among all social actors.

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RRI in Sweden: Gaming and challenge-driven innovation
Karin Larsdotter | Vetenskap & Allmanhet

Swedish stakeholders are positive towards RRI and see lots of opportunities. Civil society is particularly strong and represents many different interests that are relevant for solving societal problems. The main challenge is rather how to provide platforms to support collaboration between stakeholders. An example of RRI is the programme Challenge-driven innovation run by Sweden’s innovation agency. Using the Lund declaration as a starting point, challenges were identified in areas that Sweden has a competitive advantage in. The programme supports consortia of organisations, representing different stakeholders and parts of the value chain, which come up with a description of the problem and how to tackle it. Another example is the project Diversity in the computer games industry, which aims to increase diversity among game developers, gamers and characters in computer games. Collaboration between companies, the gaming community and researchers has resulted in a beneficial exchange of knowledge and ideas.

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Responsible Research and Innovation - an opportunity for business
Melanie Smallman | University College London

Responsible research and innovation means doing science and innovation with society and for society. In this presentation we will consider what this means for business – whether it is necessarily a burden or whether doing things differently might offer opportunities too. We will present a case study of Hao2, which is a UK company that develops and sells online conferencing systems. The systems, which use avatars to allow people to interact in a virtual environment, have been developed by people with autism for people with autism but are now being used much more widely. Hao2 Director Nikki Herbertson will (by video) explain how involving customers and diverse publics early in business and innovation development has led to a socially-revolutionary product and business that brings social goods as well as a profit.

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On the uptake of the idea of RRI in Poland
Adam Zielinsky | Wiktor Gajewski | Marcin Grynberg

The idea of responsible research and innovation is far from being acknowledged in Poland. It is neither present in the public debates nor mentioned in discussions on expert level. Civil society organizations have taken the lead in the key areas such as science education, gender/inclusion or open access while scientific community remains skeptical and public agencies are lagging behind. The business seems to be doubtful but similarities between the concepts of RRI and CSR and relative success of the latter can justify moderate optimism. Paradoxically, relative advancement in selected areas creates a “label shift” risk – we go on doing the same but from now on use a different term to name it (e.g. public engagement replaced by RRI). In case of other stakeholders, especially research community and public authorities lack of critical reflection and policies in key areas gathered under the RRI roof (ethics, open access, governance etc.) partly explains difficulties in implementing more sophisticated concepts such as RRI. Therefore it is not surprising that one of the key recommendations of the 2014 workshop held by the Polish hub is “disaggregation” (of RRI concept). In other words it is necessary to work simultaneously on RRI and its components. In case of the first goal we should directly promote the concept of RRI while in case of the other we should rather screen relevant areas, identify gaps (what needs to be done) and fill them in order to catch up with others (not necessarily leaders such as UK or Netherlands but at least with EU average). The success of science museums in Poland which were only recently created demonstrate that even if you start from scratch you can easily and relatively fast make up for your shortcomings – first by smartly copying others and then by your own invention. Any other approach, especially limited to simple promotion of RRI (even through so called “tools”) may not be effective.

 

A glance at the French ingredients for the RRI Alchemy
Malvina Artheau

Many initiatives in France can be related to the RRI concept. Some are new, while some have been implemented over the last decade. Most of them are not identified, even by those involved, as RRI practices. As a result, identification of actors among themselves is lacking, transfer of competence is scarce or localized in specific socio-professional ecosystems. But all the ingredients for the RRI alchemy to bear are in place. As example of the diversity of initiative in France, three of them will be described: the PICRI regional program which is funding research projects carried by the association of scientists and civil society organizations, the SoScience! PME wich triggers partnerships with laboratories, engineering schools, social entrepreneurs and major companies in order to launch responsible research projects and the Experimenta project, a LivingLab festival launched by a Science Center which invites heterogeneous participants (students, citizens, experts, policymakers etc.) to try out and evaluate about fifteen art-science prototypes.

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A tool for scientific citizenship: PORDATA, the Database of Contemporary Portugal
Gonçalo Praça | Ciencia Viva

Improving the assessment and use of statistical information about society is essential to building up an informed opinion and real scientific citizenship. That is the promise of the instrument we will present here. PORDATA is a portal with free tools for visualisation and consultation of Portuguese and European statistical data. It collects, organizes and presents data in clear and accessible ways, adding contextual information – "metadata" – to enable its adequate interpretation. Enhancing statistics communication, simplifying the complexity of information, improving the critical understanding of statistics, and debunking common myths sustained by numbers are some of the aims of PORDATA, now also developed in other ways, including statistical training modules for kids and an exhibition about the role of statistics in the modern world now opening in Pavilion of Knowledge.

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RRI in the Netherlands
Wouter Boon, Jacqueline Broerse, Laurens Hessels, Frank Kupper, Michelle Rijnen and Sara Vermeulen | Athena

In the Netherlands, many flourishing RRI initiatives can be found, especially in the areas of health/ wellbeing and agriculture/ environment. For example, the Lung Foundation : a patient organization that after years of experimentation has implemented patient participation throughout their organization. Or: the Knowledge for Climate program in which multiple stakeholders collaborated on the development of successful and feasible climate adaptation strategies. A third example is the playful reflection toolbox that uses creative methods to facilitate reflective deliberation and learning in R&I contexts. We see ample room for improvement, since the lessons learned from these examples could have more impact if research and innovation systems would become more open, diverse and adaptive. Therefore, the issue is not to find RRI showcases, but to mainstream RRI in the routines of research and innovation systems.

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