RRI in the regional r&i framework 

Lombardy is the most populated region of Italy and one of the richest territories in the EU. Its economic system is mainly focused on small and medium sized enterprises and its economy is specialized in all the traditional ‘Made in Italy’ sectors but also in the new technology-dominated ones.

Lombardy Region is not new to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), which has been officially institutionalised within the regional framework in 2016 with the Law “Lombardy is Research and Innovation”, also introducing new and strategic tools for the governance of the regional research and innovation system, namely:

  • the Three Years’ Strategic Plan for Research, Innovation, and Technology Transfer (PST), which provides the framework for the governance of Research and Innovation at the regional level for the coming 3 years;
  • the Open Innovation Platform, a virtual space where the Regional Government, industrial players, academia representatives and other societal actors can dialogue;
  • the Regional Forum for Research and Innovation, an independent body composed of ten international experts on science and society related issues that was established to advise on the responsible governance of regional Research and Innovation.
Smart Specialisation Strategy – which is in close dialogue with the regional PST – is also a key instrument for the Region in order to promote specific, place-based research and innovation. The next Lombardy Region S3 is under development for the programming period 2021-2027.
Furthermore, as a joint effort of the Lombardy Cluster of TRANSFORM, Lombardy Region embeds RRI into the objectives of S3 in order to prepare the ground for citizen engagement actions in the implementation and monitoring of the strategy.




Within the realm of TRANSFORM, Lombardy Region commits to render S3 more inclusive and transparent, ensuring that citizens’ voices are heard, and opinions are taken into account in setting up key regional R&I policies (deliberative process). In order to do so, a two folded citizen engagement process is designed and implemented.

The first set of activities aims at including public views in the PST (2021-2023): sharing their experiences and opinions on personal and territorial needs, Lombardy citizens contribute to shape regional R&I priorities. More than 1000 people leaving in the region are engaged thanks to a structured participatory research and innovation agenda setting pilot, which is held entirely online (due to the COVID-19 emergency) combining a mix of quantitative (a survey administered to a representative sample of Lombardy population) and qualitative (a deliberative workshop) methods. The citizens’ input collected is integrated into the PST.

Within the framework of public deliberation for policymaking, a second stream of participatory activities is conducted in June 2022, engaging citizens in a face-to-face Citizens’ Jury to learn, discuss and deliberate about Smart and Responsible (data-driven) Mobility. The scope of the Jury is to provide Lombardy Region with recommendations on how to implement regional initiatives in this field, taking into account the social implications and the responsibility-related issues of mobility services based on data driven technologies (e.g., privacy, inclusivity, accessibility, etc.).

A group of 17 selected local R&I stakeholders was also created with the aim of defining collaborative propositions on how to improve the openness and inclusiveness of regional R&I ecosystems.

Activities & Timeline


This executive summary of the “Strategic roadmap for the implementation and support of territorial RRI through Participatory Research Agenda Setting” 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.



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Advisory Board member for participatory research agenda setting

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      Simon Burall 

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