Territories as Responsive and Accountable Networks of S3 through new Forms of Open and Responsible decision-Making (TRANSFORM)

Europe is strengthening its efforts to achieve responsible and sustainable modes of research and innovation. Responsible research and innovation, or RRI, requires researchers, citizens, policymakers, businesses and third sector organisations to work closely together. It involves the aligning of research and innovation with societal values, needs and expectations. The EU-funded TRANSFORM project is putting RRI principles into practice. It brings together three European regions – Lombardy (Italy), Brussels-Capital (Belgium) and Catalonia (Spain) – to design, test and disseminate three sound co-creation methodological frameworks (participatory research agenda setting, design for social innovation and citizen science) within their Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3). The three implementing regions will engage in mutual learning within and beyond Europe, pairing with a co-design initiative in Boston (USA). The objective is to establish more open, transparent and democratic R&I ecosystems for more responsible territorial development.


 Establish more open, transparent and democratic R&I ecosystems in Europe;
 Consolidate Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) by integrating an RRI approach within existing regional innovation processes;
 Empower diverse stakeholders to implement and/or engage with the development of responsible regional development processes and evaluate their impact;
 Explore concrete R&I working methods based on three sound methodological approaches: participatory research agenda setting, citizen science and design for social innovation;
 Advance territorial Responsible Research and Innovation by promoting shared learning and diffusion of governance innovations.

Regional governments involved in TRANSFORM will reflect on, experiment with, learn from and adopt RRI approaches to their R&I policies and actions. Concrete examples of inclusive and sustainable territorial development will be attained, thus providing a set of reliable Policy Recommendations to transforming regional R&I ecosystems towards RRI. TRANSFORM will also be integrated into Strategic Roadmaps for the implementation of RRI within S3, addressed to S3 key players, for maximum benefit across all S3 Thematic Platforms.

Work Packages

WP1: Project Management

The general objective of the WP1 is to ensure a well-planned and cost-effective management of the project, both from a financial and administrative point of view, as well as in terms of coordination of the consortium and the activities carried out by all partners. It ensures smooth collaboration of all partners, coordination of project’s activities, risk and quality control and management and building synergies with other projects and relevant communities.

WP2: Framework definition, oversight and shared learning

WP2 covers the mapping of the current territorial R&I ecosystem based on existing data, with the addition of RRI indicators. Regional clusters reflect on their place within the larger societal, geographical, economic and environmental framework while planning cluster activities. WP2 also facilitates shared learning, enabling clusters to share and learn from each other experiences through mutual learning workshops combined with key local cluster activities, as well as by joining a co-created deliberative Forum in Boston within the CC-PES project (NSF, USA). In addition, WP2 coordinates cooperation with TRANSFORM Advisory Board and Regional Think Tanks throughout all project phases.

Work Package 3: Participatory Research Agenda Setting – Lombardy Region

WP3 coordinates the activities of the Lombardy Region cluster:

  • Multi-stakeholder engagement process through participatory research agenda setting approach;
  •  Concrete suggestions, visions and opinions from citizens and local stakeholders in the next Lombardy Region Three Years R&I Strategic Plan, aligned with regional S3;
  • Development of a detailed operation plan which describes the whole process and can ensure the replicability of the approach in Lombardy and beyond;
  • The organisation of a local final event to share learning and outcomes with local R&I and S3 stakeholders;
  • Fostering novel and transparent governance relations within the regional R&I agenda setting.
Work Package 4: Citizen Science in RIS3 – Catalonia Region

WP4 coordinates activities carried out within the Catalonia Region cluster:

  • Embed participatory strategies and citizen science methodologies in the new RIS3CAT strategy of the Catalonia region, advancing the current efforts to incorporate RRI;
  • Transforming ongoing RIS3CAT funded projects from the triple helix towards the quadruple helix, to incorporate bottom-up strategies, co-design customised services and boost innovation;
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement to embed citizen science in ongoing RIS3CAT projects;
  • Incorporating the project results as new selection criteria for future calls for new Communities RIS3CAT in the future specialisation strategy of the region;
  • The organisation of a local final event to share learning and outcomes with local R&I and S3 stakeholders;
  • Fostering novel and transparent governance relations within the regional R&I agenda setting.
Work Package 5: Design for Social Innovation – Brussels-Capital Region
WP5 coordinates activities carried out within the Brussels-Capital cluster:
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement process through design thinking approach;
  • Addressing concrete community needs, emerging from a bottom-up participatory process involving citizens in two Brussels districts;
  • Engaging citizens, local CSOs and universities/SMEs in the co-creation of social innovation solutions in the field of circular economy, leveraging on the urban metabolism of Brussels; identifying specific resources to be reinjected into the local economy rather than exported as waste, supply chains and local economic actors to implement solutions, and market demand to benefit and scale up the proposed solutions;
  • The organisation of a local final event to share learning and outcomes with local R&I and S3 stakeholders;
  • Fostering novel and transparent governance relations within the regional R&I agenda setting.
Work Package 6: Sharing results and multiplying impacts
Lead Partner: Association Européenne pour l’Information sur le Développement Local (AEIDL)

WP6 includes communication and dissemination activities which are thoroughly aligned with the multi-level engagement strategies deployed from WP2 to WP5, with the common objective of achieving the implementation of RRI components within regional R&I ecosystems through the adoption of best practices in participatory research agenda setting multi-stakeholder engagement, design thinking for social innovation and citizen science, while disseminating project results and influencing policies beyond the regional governments involved in the consortium and the duration of the project.


Work Package 7: Monitoring and Evaluation

The objective of WP7 is to monitor, evaluate and document project activities and actions, including;

  • A mapping of TRANSFORM’s ecosystem of monitoring and evaluation practices to avoid duplication of ongoing data collection and assessment activities;
  • Design and execution of TRANSFORM’s own suite of monitoring and evaluation activities;
  • Continuous monitoring for ongoing formative assessment within the project;
  • RRI assessment of the activities and outcomes of TRANSFORM by applying and adopting a suite of RRI indicators;
  • Assessment of scientific, democratic, environmental, economic and social benefits of TRANSFORM activities;
  • An analysis of impact pathways of TRANSFORM activities.
Work Package 8: Ethics requirements

The objective is to ensure compliance with the ‘ethics, data protection and open science requirements’ set out in
this work package.

EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 872687. This website reflects only the authors' view and the REA and the EC are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Project Coordinator: Angela Simone Fondazione Giannino Bassetti angela.simone@fondazionebassetti.org
contact: info@transform-project.eu