Today big societal challenges are at the forefront of the political agenda.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embody the political commitment to work towards a more just and sustainable world. In terms of R&I policy, the focus on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an invitation to the R&I community to address these societal needs in a participatory, open and ethical way, fostering gender equality, governance and education.
The FoTRRIS project has revealed that although there certainly is a willingness to engage with citizens to address the big societal needs, the current organisation and regulation of the R&I system still creates a many obstacles. If R&I institutions are to fully make the transition towards a CO-RRI-system, this will also have to be supported by structural mechanisms in terms of:
- R&I agenda setting
- research financing
- paradigms and (transdisciplinary) research practices
- methods and criteria for evaluation and valorisation of research.
These are preconditions that are not in the hands of individual researchers or research teams, but require decision-making and governance at political levels – from regional to European.
Aiming to visioning these four directions, the Back Casting Exercise was organised in Paris on 19 September 2017, and brought together a group of more than 40 experts from EU organisations (Social Entreprise Europe, Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, Science Europe, ZSI – Centre for Social Innovation and others) with the aim of mapping current policy obstacles and exploring leverages that are needed to facilitate the transition towards RRI. The gained results will be translated into the insights of political recommendations for the future R&I system in EU.
FoTRRIS is the EU Horizon2020 project developed in the frames of the Science with and for Society programme GARRI-1-2014 topic. The specific objective of the programme is to build effective cooperation between societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organisations etc.) working together during the whole research and innovation process, in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society.
The project partnership is represented by 6 organisations:
- VITO – Vlaamse Instelling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek N.V. (Belgium, coordinator);
- LGI Consulting SARL (France);
- ESSRG – The Environmental Social Science Research Group (Hungary);
- UCM – Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain);
- ERRIN – European Regions Research and Innovation Network (Belgium);
- IFZ – Interuniversitäre Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur (Austria);
- CESIE (Italy).