The experience in Lombardy provides effective and valuable tools to involve citizens in regional R&I policy making.

The closing event of the TRANSFORM Lombardy cluster was an important opportunity to open a discussion among actors involved in research and innovation governance, especially in a regional context. Following the contributions of partners and speakers, the debate revolved around responsible innovation and how the participatory approach developed by TRANSFORM can serve as a good example of citizen engagement in decision-making at local level.

On 17 November 2022, Fabrizio Sala, Vice-President and Councillor for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation, and Simplification of the Lombardy Region, opened the event at the Palazzo Pirelli in Milan. Referring to the quadruple helix approach, which involves citizens alongside universities, institutions, and companies, Sala stressed the importance of the “method of dialogue” tested and applied by TRANSFORM. “Being adherent to the needs and demands of citizens and the population, especially in a field like research, has become fundamental, in order to offer our children and future generations the best place to live,” Sala added.

Piero Bassetti, President of the Giannino Bassetti Foundation, referred to the problematic relationship between knowledge and power in today’s society and recalled the Foundation’s mission. He explained that the challenge of TRANSFORM – integrating the voice of citizens in R&I policies – is of utmost interest because “politics needs the norm and the norm needs knowledge.” And today, it is precisely this “decentralized knowledge” that can help us “understand the needs of the world.”

Angela Simone, TRANSFORM Project Coordinator from the Giannino Bassetti Foundation, then explained the objectives and structure of the project at European level, referring also to the context of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in which it is situated.

Elisabetta Confalonieri and Enza Cristofaro from the General for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation and Simplification of the Lombardy region reported on how the integration of citizens’ voices into research and innovation policy at local level came about. Confalonieri emphasized the challenge of involving citizens in policies that affect research and innovation and the value of methodologies, such as public deliberation for policy making, tested in the Lombardy Region by TRANSFORM. Cristofaro then provided an overview of the pathway from the administration’s perspective and explained what strategies have been put in place to overcome this challenge.

Anna Pellizzone, TRANSFORM Project Manager (Bassetti Foundation), explained the results achieved by TRANSFORM in Lombardy (for an overview of the journey, which included a first phase with the identification of research needs and a second phase with the organsiation of the Citizens Jury on Responsible Smart Mobility, follow this link). In particular, Pellizzone first presented the results of the first phase of the project, namely the indications and recommendations that emerged from the survey and deliberative workshop on “Just Energy Transition for All” (Italian reports on the two activities are available here).

Silvia Corbetta (Finlombarda, TRANSFORM’s local partner) described how the results of particiaptory activites were integrated into the research and innovation policies of the Lombardy region. More specifically, Corbetta explained how Finlombarda, the Lombardy’s region financial company that supports the Regione Lombardia in defining regional strategies, used the TRANFORM results to support the Region in the elaboration of the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) 2021-2027 and the Three-Year Strategic Programme STP – 2021-2023 (for more information on the integration of TRANSFORM ‘s results into the STP, click here).

The day continued with a keynote speech by Enrico Giovannini, Professor at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and former Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, dedicated to the theme of the role of citizens and society in a just ecological transition for all. Giovannini stressed the importance of informing and sensitising citizens (as happened in TRANSFORM), and quoted Massimo L. Salvadori (the well-known historian and politician from Piedmont). He explained that actual progress is progress where we agree on what we want to achieve. The bottom-up movement is the only hope we have,” and the Agenda 2030 represents the highest point reached so far. Giovannini adds that Italians “want to discuss, and they want to discuss in an orderly way, not in a chaotic way. We must continue in this direction,” Giovannini concluded.

Anna Pellizzone then resumed the overview of TRANSFORM ‘s achievements at the local level, illustrating the final phase of the participatory journey: the Citizens’ Jury, dedicated to responsible smart mobility. Citizens’ Jury took place over two days in June 2022 (video available here, and the report with the results here).

The keynote speech that followed, by Guido Scorza, a member of the Italian Data Protection Authority, was dedicated to privacy and data protection issues and topics of responsibility related to data-driven services, which were considered a priority by the Citizens’ Jury. Scorza cited the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), reminding the audience that the Regulation is also about the free flow of personal data and that the ultimate goal is precisely to maximize its use. If properly applied, the GDPR is, therefore, an important tool to improve the lives of citizens.

. “The TRANSFORM project “, Scorza added, “is an excellent example because it takes an approach where dialogue between the administration and citizens allows for a balance between data protection concerns and proposals.”

Giudo Scroza, a member of the Italian Data Protection Authority

Matteo Pozzetti from the Directorate General for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation and Simplification explained how the results of the project, and in particular those that emerged from the Citizens’ Jury on Smart Mobility, will feed into the Region’s policies, moving from the design phase to the implementation phase.

“The process of tackling common problems such as smart mobility and energy transition, working together with policymakers and different stakeholders, has been excellently implemented in the TRANSFORM project,” said Agnes Allansdottir (University of Siena), a researcher working on the relationship between science and society and an expert in methodologies for consulting citizens and monitoring public opinion on the impact of technologies and technosciences. “It could be useful for the Lombardy region to also have a tool to monitor public opinion and the level of trust in science and research,” Allansdottir concluded.


The full video of the day and all materials about the conference (speaker presentations, photos, agenda of the day) are available here.


Photo by Ouael Ben Salah on Unsplash.

17 November 2022

Sala Pirelli – Palazzo Pirelli, Via Fabio Filzi, 22 Milano, Italy 

On 17 November 2022, Fondazione Giannino Bassetti, Region Lombardy and Finlombarda will host their final regional event to showcase the outcomes of the Lombardy regional cluster of the TRANSFORM project. The meeting will be an opportunity to present TRANSFORM’s journey in Lombardy and its contribution to regional Research and Innovation policies, but also to talk more broadly about the role of citizens in policy making on issues such as data-driven innovation and the fair energy transition for all. 

Do you want to know more? Do not hesitate to register.


The event will then focus on TRANSFORM activities in Lombardy and the issues addressed in the citizen engagement journey. In addition to in-person participation, the meeting will be broadcast online on the Open Innovation website. 

Opening session 

Participatory research agenda setting 

  • Defining the regional strategic research and innovation agenda in a participatory way: the first set of participatory activities focused on the theme of the just energy transition by Anna Pellizzone, project manager, Fondazione Giannino Bassetti
  • How to integrate citizens’ ideas and needs into regional strategies: Lombardy’s Three-Year Strategic Program for Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer by Silvia Corbetta, Finlombarda  
  • Key note speech: “Just Ecological Transition for All. The role of citizens and society” by Enrico Giovannini, Professor at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

TRANSFORM Citizen Jury 

  • Results of the TRANSFORM Citizens Jury dedicated to responsible smart mobility by Anna Pellizzone, Fondazione Giannino Bassetti
  • Integration of citizens’ recommendations into smart mobility policies in the Lombardy Region by Matteo Pozzetti, Directorate General for Education, Universities, Research, Innovation and Simplification, Lombardy Region
  • Key note: Role that citizens can play – reflection on accountability issues related to data-driven services, including aspects of privacy and data protection (some of the elements considered most important by TRANSFORM’s Citizens’ Jury participants) by Guido Scorza, a member of the Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali

Discussion and closing remarks

  • TRANSFORM results and citizen participation in Research and Innovation decision-making by Agnes Allansdottir, University of Siena, a scholar of the relationship between science and society and an expert in methodologies for consulting citizens and monitoring public opinion on the impact of technologies and technosciences, chosen by the Region as one of the ten components of the Regional Forum for Innovation and Scientific Research 2018-2021
  • Closing remarks by Angela Simone, TRANSFORM coordinator, Fondazione Giannino Bassetti 

Learn more about the Lombardy cluster here.


Photo by REVOLT on Unsplash


Privacy and accessibility among priority issues according to TRANSFORM’s Citizens’ Jury. 

On Saturday, June 25, EU-funded project TRANSFORM concluded the participatory process to collect recommendations from citizens living in Lombardy on the topic of smart and responsible mobility.

The Citizens’ Jury, composed of a total of 24 people, took place over two days. At the end of the second day, participants were able to present their suggestions on data-driven Smart Mobility, delivering the final recommendations directly to representatives of the Lombardy Region.

The Jury, organised by Bassetti Foundation, which is also coordinating the entire TRANSFORM project, opened with an information phase with experts, which took place on June 11, and allowed citizens to gain more knowledge about both technological aspects and ethical and social issues that can arise when it comes to data-driven mobility services. Two weeks later, the Jurors met again and were invited to think collaboratively about issues related to responsible mobility and, from these, to develop concrete recommendations for regional decision makers.

The discussion phase on responsibility aspects related to Smart Mobility took place in small groups and plenary sessions, accompanied by professional facilitators. The results of the discussion among the groups of participants identified six main issues: privacy, profiling (automated collection and processing of personal data), territorial inclusivity and inclusivity for disadvantaged groups, affordability and digital accessibility, accessibility to information about the existence and operation of services, and security, also understood as cybersecurity.

From the considerations that emerged, the second part of the meeting served to elaborate and refine the recommendations, defining their “objectives” and “measures” to be put into practice.

Lombardy region

The final recommendations were unanimously approved by the Jurors, who at the end of the process showed great satisfaction with their involvement in the deliberative process, stating that they appreciated the opportunity to express their voice and feel active as citizens, in an area that directly affects them such as land use planning and related services.

The recommendations were taken on board by the Lombardy Region, which will take them into account in the planning and implementation of its actions within the regional Smart Mobility programs.

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