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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 Roy from Pexels

Citizens’ needs, which emerged from the survey proposed by the European project, have been integrated into the 2021-2023 Three-year Strategic Programme for Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer guiding research and innovation

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This past 19 October, the Regional Council approved the new “The 2021-2023 Three-year Strategic Programme for Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer, the governance tool that guides the development of Lombardy in the field of research and innovation. The Programme “traces the lines of development of research and innovation to respond to the global challenges of our time, through a distinctive approach that puts people and their needs at the centre of all choices,” as explained by Lombardy governor Attilio Fontana.

In order to investigate the needs of the population in the field of research and innovation by directly involving citizens, in 2021 the TRANSFORM project designed and conducted a dialogue process structured in two phases: a survey, which will be discussed in the following paragraphs, and a deliberative workshop, information on which can be found at this link

The first phase of the process – the survey – took place at the end of April and involved a sample of one thousand Lombardy residents, selected so as to have a group of participants representative of the Lombardy population in terms of age, gender and province of residence. The responses, collected with the support of an agency specialising in this type of survey, were then analysed by the Giannino Bassetti Foundation and integrated by Lombardy Region – with the support of Finlombarda – into the new Programme.

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FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY

The results of the survey highlighted

  • ‘quality education for more children and young people’,
  • ‘decent work for more people’,
  • and ‘less pollution impact of cities’

as the most urgent objectives for the area (indicated by 66%, 65% and 62% of the sample, respectively). According to the interviewees, two of these same ambits – education and work – have been among the most affected by the health emergency: “quality education”, “improving health and well-being”, and “decent work” are in fact the objectives that have become even more important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the greatest impact recorded especially in larger families.

Young people aged 18-24 showed greater sensitivity to issues related to environmental sustainability, including ‘more responsible consumption and production’, ‘mobility infrastructure’, ‘more people using clean and safe water for consumption and personal care’, and ‘more action to protect biodiversity’.

Among the most important personal and family needs, respondents indicated needs related to health, work and safety (“preventing illness” 87%, “living in safe environments and contexts” 85%, “having user-friendly citizen services” 83%, “moving on safe roads” 83%). Two-thirds of the participants indicated research and innovation as tools capable of providing answers to these needs, especially in the medical field, while another 24% considered that scientific and technological development could play a partial role.

Who to involve in the design of research and innovation policies of Regione Lombardia? According to survey participants, universities/research centres and the government are at the top of the list, as are citizens (37%) and public bodies, specifically municipalities (35%). Businesses and the European Union, important players in the regional research and innovation system, are in fifth place (28%). 

The issues related to environmental sustainability, which emerged as priorities based on the responses, were further investigated at a later date during a deliberative workshop. The pilot event, entitled “Just Energy Transition for All”, took place on 29 May 2021 and involved 18 citizens living in Lombardy.


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TeRRItoria final conference: RRI institutional changes for improved regional governance 

The TeRRItoria’s final conference took the form of a webinar series that took place on 18, 20 and 25 January 2022. The webinar series aimed to put forward the experiences gained within the 3 years of TeRRItoria journey, and at the same time shared some theoretical means as well as practical experiences that are useful to design institutional changes in territories to implement effective RRI principles into R&I ecosystems and governance structures at regional and local level.

The three thematic sessions

  • How to engage citizens in regional development policies
  • Institutional changes for Responsible Research and Innovation
  • The way forward

provided the opportunity to hear from experts in their respective fields, representatives from the pilot projects, and stakeholders with first-hand experiences in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and regional governance.

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TRANSFORM at TeRRItoria’s final webinars 

On 18 January, TRANSFORM participated in a session on How to engage citizens in regional development policies.

Angela Simone (Giannino Bassetti Foundation), TRANSFORM Project Coordinator, presented project activities, experiences and lessons learned from the implementation of co-design, co-creation and citizen science in regional R&I governance and in working with quadruple helix stakeholders to create more open, transparent and inclusive regional R&I ecosystems.


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