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5- 6 May

Vienna, Austria 

REvaluation 2021 – Anticipation – Transition – Resilience

In the last couple of years, European science and innovation systems have been challenged by at least two major developments. First, R&I funding is increasingly designed with a view to supporting societal missions or system transformations. Second, COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of resilience of science and innovation systems and has questioned hitherto long held views of openness and division of labour in the development of knowledge and innovation.  

This year’s edition of European’s largest R&I policy evaluation conference will respond to those challenges. While primarily asking for conceptual and methodological advances in the field of R&I policy evaluation in its broadest sense, a strong focus this year will be to share and discuss conceptual approaches and experiences to assess and measure the relevance and effectiveness of new R&I policy responses which aim to contribute to transformation and resilience. This is especially important – and challenging – as such R&I policies are mostly still at experimental stage.

There is thus great uncertainty about which R&I interventions will work how and which rebound effects they may trigger. A clear instrumental toolbox is currently not in sight. These developments also challenge the field of evaluation: new policy questions require new evaluative approaches, new methods and new indicators, for which data are often very difficult to collect.

Evaluative conversations: translating between diverse stakeholders in regional RRI projects 

The University of Bergen, the lead partner of the work package on Monitoring and Evaluation within TRANSFORM, has contributed to the abstract prepared jointly by SwafS-14 projects on territorial RRI – issues, tensions and lessons learned in monitoring and evaluation practices of nine H2020 projects. Presented by Tjitske Holtrop and Anestis Amanatidis of CWTS Leiden, the talk “Evaluative conversations: translating between diverse stakeholders in regional RRI projects”  will take place on 5 May from 10:30 to 12:00 within the session on Regional Innovation.  

The REvaluation 2021 Conference is jointly organised by Fraunhofer ISI, IFRIS and the Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation.

 


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Photo by Polina Chistyakova from Pexels.

The ideas and recommendations gathered during the event contributed to the definition of Regione Lombardia’s strategic plan.

Brussels-Capital

After the survey conducted in April 2021, the citizen engagement activities carried out within the TRANSFORM project continued with the organisation and testing of an online deliberative workshop. The event took place on the Zoom platform on 29 May and involved 18 Lombardy residents. This methodology, which has been widely applied in various countries and on various issues, consists of a meeting in which a small group of people is asked to express their opinions in an extensive manner on a specific topic. The deliberative workshop follows a structured dialogue format and begins with an information and learning phase.

For an in-depth look at participatory methodologies and their application in Europe, click here to download the OECD report “Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave”.

Just ENERGY TRANSITION for all

The theme of the TRANSFORM workshop, the Just Energy Transition for All, was selected by the project partners based on the citizens’ interests and needs that emerged from the survey – the first step of the participatory process – and allowed the topic of sustainability to be explored in all its dimensions, including the social one. With the support of an agency specialised in this type of activity, the citizens that were called to participate in the workshop were selected in a balanced way considering gender, age group and province of residence. The discussion, which was moderated by professional facilitators, was structured and divided into plenary sessions (with the full group of 18 participants) and moments of dialogue in smaller subgroups (each with 6 participants).

The workshop opened with an informative phase, during which the theme of energy transition was introduced via a video interview with Nicola Armaroli, who is the Research Director of the Italian National Research Council in Bologna, one of the most-cited Italian experts in the international literature on this topic. Afterwards, Luca Donelli, President of the Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster (LE2C), spoke in an online session, illustrating through a presentation the technological solutions and lines of research that can be introduced to facilitate the energy transition, focusing in particular on the initiatives and strategy in place at regional level. The expert then remained at the participants’ disposal to answer their questions and interests (e.g. on the future prospects of hydrogen).

In the discussion concerning the actions to be taken to start the energy transition in Lombardy, the citizens identified 10 macro-areas, of which 3 were designated as priorities:

  • education, training and job innovation;
  • better services and green incentives for housing (public and private);
  • and digitalisation of PA.

For each selected macro-area, they then analysed issues and opportunities related to “social justice”: the need to retrain workers engaged in non-renewable energy chains, as well as opportunities for new green jobs; difficulties in providing information and accessing existing incentives, and; problems related to the digital divide and especially the digital literacy of the older population.

Finally, participants produced a set of recommendations in the three priority areas discussed, aiming to facilitate the training or retraining of professionals, to address and solve the complexity of the mechanisms related to the use of incentives in order to render them more accessible and to support the needs of the older population in using digital services.

deliberation workshop Italy

The event was a success. The considerations and ideas that emerged during the participatory event provided Lombardy Region and Finlombarda with useful elements for writing the 2021-2023 Strategic Programme for research, innovation and technological transfer (STP), which was approved on 19 October.

Moreover, in the evaluation questionnaires filled out following the close of the event, the participants expressed great satisfaction, both for the format of the deliberative workshop and “the innovative opportunity that the Lombardy Region has given citizens to express their opinion on an important issue such as sustainability and ecological transition”, confirming the positive effects of this type of initiative on the relationship between citizens and public institutions.

Click here to download the workshop report.


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TRANSFORM is now entering its third, final, year. The experimentation with citizen engagement activities and RRI implementation into regional R&I governance will be completed in all three clusters, drawing conclusions and lessons learned into the project outcomes.

Strategic Roadmaps for the implementation and support of territorial RRI through three tested methodologies – participatory research agenda setting, citizen science and multistakeholder engagement – within S3 priorates that will provide comprehensive guidelines on the applied methodologies in three regions.
maps

RRI Maps will show efforts that TRANSFORM regional R&I ecosystems have done towards the inclusion of RRI elements within their R&I activities and funding. An inspiration for existing innovation scoreboards that would benefit from integrating RRI indicators.

policy recommendations

 In addition, Policy Recommendations to transforming regional R&I systems towards RRIresulting from the mutual learning process will provide inspiration to regional governments and local authorities who would like to replicate TRANSFORM processes and implement RRI components within their R&I policies.

Evaluation and monitoring

The continuous monitoring and evaluation will result in several public deliverables,

  • Impact pathways for RRI Initiatives in Regional R&I Ecosystems
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Guide
  • TRANSFORM: An Assessment of Outcomes and Impacts

that will provide insights into TRANSFORM’s approach to this task including processes, practices, methodologies and indicators used as well as the impact assessment of the project. At the same time, it will also cover the overall impact assessment in terms of the actual impact of mature innovations taken up in society beyond the scope of the project. These deliverables will provide guidance to others interested in monitoring and evaluating the impact of RRI at territorial level. 

Project e-book

A project e-book will present the experimentation processes of all three clusters explored in the project, detailing used methodologies, strengths, weaknesses and practical hints to replicate the activities; an easy-to-use guide for policymakers and local stakeholders to implement RRI and participatory approaches in S3. It will be presented in a project webinar along with other results with an objective to trigger more RRI approaches in S3.

Event

Each regional cluster will organise a local final event presenting the project results, strengthening links built among quadruple helix stakeholders and celebrating the outcomes of the work done in the past three years. The final conference will be organised in Milan to invite stakeholders from all over Europe to showcase project achievements, reflect on lessons learned together with other projects and discuss the main challenges and future trends shaping the territorial RRI in regional R&I.

 

We will keep exploring synergies with other projects and initiatives, and share our knowledge and experiences during the events at European, national, regional and local level.

Stay tuned!


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