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The end of the year also meant the end of the first year of TRANSFORM. Looking back at 2020, we can for sure say that it was a successful year, despite challenging circumstances. We kicked off the project in the midst of the global pandemic, which in the end, accompanied us the whole year through and beyond. Although all activities and meetings happened in the virtual space, we managed to find a shared vision among the partners and launched the tasks as planned. So, what exactly have we been up to during this first year?

All regional clusters have been working towards the implementation of RRI into their S3 strategies using different methodologies: 

Lombardy by implementing participatory agenda setting in the design of the next Three Years’ Strategic Plan for Research, Innovation, and Technology Transfer (PST);

Catalonia by integrating citizen science to transform selected pilot projects in the field of selective municipal solid waste collection, transforming them from the triple to the quadruple helix;

 and Brussels-Capital by using design thinking for social innovation in the circular economy,  awarding grants to support innovative ideas responding to the selected collective challenges.

Partners and clusters have engaged in a reflection process to better understand RRI and S3 within their regional settings in regular meetings and mutual learning workshops. These efforts resulted in the Report on cluster-specific societal, geographical, economic and environmental frameworks. Regional Think Tanks (bringing together local authorities, academia, research centres, businesses) were set up, providing a variety of views, know-how and priorities on regional R&I ecosystems, ensuring that different perspectives and needs are taken into account in the project activities and contributing to the co-creation of local indicators to measure and monitor the RRI performance of the regional governments. In addition, the Shared learning Action Plan was developed outlining the mutual learning and capacity building activities among and within clusters. The plan details how clusters will share updates on ongoing activities, pros and cons of the adopted methodological approaches, challenges to institutional changes, and impact of concrete changes achieved.

A comprehensive analysis of the project monitoring needs, regional specificities as well as available RRI indicators and evaluation practices fed into the development of a first version of the Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy.

In addition, we developed the visual identity, project website, video and took part in a number of events, such as the European Week of Regions, Pint of Science Festival in Brussels: ‘Shaping the city of tomorrow‘, Research, innovation and the common good webinar organised by Art-ER and the virtual exhibition of the 3rd Annual Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival organised by Joint Research Centre (JRC).

What's next?

In the second year of the project, we are moving towards implementation of citizen engagement on the ground, in the three regions – Lombardy, Catalonia and Brussels-Capital. This process will be complemented with regular monitoring and evaluation, and regular capacity building sessions among TRANSFORM partners, but also at local level with the various Think Tanks members. We will keep exploring synergies with other projects and initiatives, and to facilitate this process, we are planning to open a LinkedIn group to create a space to exchange ideas, share lessons learned as well as interesting results, and foster networking.

Stay tuned!
TRANSFORM consortium meeting

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6-12 December (online)

How is democracy changing? How can citizens participate in this change?

These are the central themes of the 3rd Annual Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival, organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in the framework of the EU Community of Practice on Citizen Engagement.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted societal and policy challenges amid uncertainty. People need solutions that go beyond business-as-usual policy. Open to all, the Citizen Engagement and Deliberative Democracy Festival is the chance for people of diverse backgrounds to gather and tackle some of the pressing issues of our time.

Virtual Exhibition

Throughout the festival, a virtual exhibition showcasing citizen engagement projects around Europe will be available. The projects bring novel approaches to citizen engagement, focused on ideas of deliberation or of co-creation, which can span art, science, and technology.

TRANSFORM is taking part in the virtual exhibition. Join us and check out our video

Please register to access the festival. The virtual exhibition is available here.

Tweet using hashtag #EUCitizenEngagement, and do not forget to tag @EU_ScienceHub. 



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The TRANSFORM Catalan Cluster, composed by Science for Change, the Regional Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya) and the research group OpenSystems of the University of Barcelona, aims to help governments and agents involved in the Catalan R&I ecosystem incorporate citizen science methodologies in their strategies, policies and projects. For this purpose, two main activities are being developed: the creation of a Catalan Think Tank and the implementation of pilot projects in citizen science.


The process has started with the creation of the regional multistakeholder Think Tank composed of 55 agents from key regional administrations, local administrations, companies, universities and research institutes (39 organisations). The members also represent a variety of sectoral areas, including Environmental Quality, Waste, Health and Water.

As part of the Think Tank activities, the Cluster is holding capacity building sessions in a form of a series of participatory webinars. These webinars aim to facilitate learning among the members, foster open discussions and experimentations about citizen science as a useful tool to promote participation and involvement of citizenship in the design of public policies or services with the aim of improving efficiency.


“I find the participation in the TRANSFORM webinars particularly interesting due to its focus on citizen science as a way of integrating RRI in the territory and in territorial policies. The sessions facilitate the exchange of opinions and debate in a multisectoral environment. At the same time they open new perspectives on how citizen science is becoming a fundamental tool in decision-making and transformative innovation in the territory”, says Xavier Ariño Vila, the Head of Strategic Projects at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


The first webinar took place in July, the Think Tank was launched and its members began to build a common base from which researchers, public policy managers and private sector jointly explored and analysed the main concepts of RRI and citizen science with practical examples, highlighting the value that citizen science can bring to projects and public policies. Entities with experience in citizen science had been able to explain their areas of work and main projects.

The second webinar took place in September. The group went deeper into the citizen-generated data as a tool to inform public policies. In thematic groups, participants detected relevant data sets possibly generated by citizens, discussed the role of the different stakeholders to develop citizen science projects and the enabling condition for citizen-generated data to actually inform public policies.

The results of the webinars so far show that there is a high interest in introducing citizen participation in research and innovation projects since it is considered essential to bring them closer to society. Many participants expressed this will, not only applicable to specific projects and initiatives but on a broader scale of governance to deepen the possibilities of public participation into policy making processes.


“Thanks to TRANSFORM webinars, we had the opportunity to go deep into the citizen science concept and patterns. We learned from organisers and shared experiences with other participants. The network that was created is very useful for us and will hopefully create synergies and new opportunities for mutual learning in the future. Thanks again Science for Change for providing us with this positive experience”, says Sara Mas Assens, the International Project Manager of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR).


The next webinar will be held in November and the group will work on co-designing practical cases based on citizen science needs. If you want to know more about the TRANSFORM’s Catalonia Regional Cluster, follow us on Twitter.



EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 872687.
Project Coordinator: Angela Simone Fondazione Giannino Bassetti angela.simone@fondazionebassetti.org
 
contact: info@transfrom-project.eu