RRI in the Regional R&I context

Catalonia is the second most populated and the fourth richest region of Spain. Its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea and on the border with Europe has given its economy a strong industrial and international trade character. A strong industrial base and a powerful ICT sector are key elements making Catalonia a driving force in industry 4.0.

The current Smart Specialization  Strategy structures the region’s R&I development: it combines traditional instruments for supporting research and innovation with innovative mechanisms aimed at promoting new forms of stakeholders cooperation to co-create public policies and innovative solutions to address societal challenges. The current most important innovative methodologies are the following:

    • PECT: Innovative projects promoted by local authorities in cooperation with research and innovation players and other actors in the territory with a view to responding to challenges of a territorial nature. These PECTs are evolving towards shared R&I agendas towards sustainability and social change.
    • Shared agendas for sustainability and social change: agendas that articulate, through a participatory model of governance, the collective action of various actors aimed at addressing a common challenge (usually related to SDGs) in the territory.
    • Monitoring and evaluation systems that focus on collective learning (as well as accountability) and on impact on complex and dynamic environments.

The next Catalan S3 is under development for the programming period 2021-2027 and it aims to integrate the four dimensions RRI dimensions (Anticipation, Reflexivity, Inclusion, Responsiveness). It is inspired by the theoretical framework of transformative innovation policy, the need for responsible research and innovation, and the concept of shared value.



Citizen Science 

The participatory approach implemented

The aim of TRANSFORM is to contribute to Catalonia’s transition to a more competitive, sustainable and inclusive economic model.  The Catalan cluster is working towards incorporating citizen science as a means of integrating RRI into Catalonia’s RIS3CAT 2021-2027, its instruments and the actors of the Catalan R&I ecosystem. The focus is on experimenting with and promoting the development of citizen science projects in a collaborative work scheme with actors from the quadruple helix (public administration, academia, business and citizens). Thus, projects are co-designed from the beginning and at every step with all the actors involved, ensuring that they work towards a common goal and that the interests of all are represented.

Activities & TIMELINE

The Catalan cluster is deeping this perspective developing three 3 lines of action:

  1. Citizen science pilot to increase the selective collection of municipal waste: together with the city council of Mollet del Vallès (Barcelona) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, an interactive waste game is being co-designed that will be used as a tool for citizen science and knowledge increase. The action is part of the PECT “HubB30, Beyond Circularity”.
  2. Citizen science pilot to improve care, diagnosis and support services to endometriosis: a group of women with endometriosis are participating in research with the aim of deepening their experience as patients and co-creating a policy brief aimed at both health professionals and policy makers in the health system. The pilot is developed together with Hospital de Sant Pau and Catalan Agency for Health Quality and Assessment (AQuAS).
  3. Participatory capacity building sessions on RRI and citizen science with the Think Tank: it’s a group composed by organizations of the triple helix of the Catalan R&I ecosystem (regional and local public administration, universities, research centers and companies). Together these organizations learn, reflect and propose how citizen science can be a good tool to improve public policies and tackle the current social and environmental challenges.

Catalonia timeline


This executive summary of the “Strategic roadmap for the implementation and support of territorial RRI through citizen science strategies within S3 priorities” aims at helping regional public administrations who wish to enable citizens’ and R&I stakeholder engagement actions in their local policymaking. It presents the methodology, expected benefits, actions carried out, impact and lessons learned.

Think tank

The Catalan Think Tank is currently composed of approximately 55 representatives of 3H stakeholders of the Catalan R&I ecosystem. They are divided into two different groups:

Key policy makers (12): this group constitutes the core of the Think Tank. Its contribution is in the TRANSFORM activities dealing with embedding RRI in RIS3CAT at regional level, specifically the co-creation process of impact assessment needed to evaluate the transformative impact of TRANSFORM activities.

Implementing organisations of the Catalan R&I ecosystem  (13 local governments, 15 relevant universities & research centers, and 3 key companies). This group is mainly devoted to participation in the capacity building sessions, defining collaborative propositions on how to improve the openness and inclusiveness of the regional R&I ecosystem and reflect on and learn from the pilot projects to be developed in Catalonia.


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Advisory Board member for citizen science

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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