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On 28th and 29th September 2020, TRANSFORM partners joined together for the second Consortium Meeting, which was entirely held online to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic context.

The first day of the meeting was introduced by the project Coordinator Angela Simone (Fondazione Giannino Bassetti) that provided a short overview of the overall progress of activities, main developments and outputs, cooperation with other projects and outlining ideas and actions on enlarging RRI awareness in the territories. In the first session of the meeting, the three TRANSFORM Regional Authorities – Generalitat de Catalunya, Regione Lombardia and Innoviris (Brussels-Capital) – which are currently finalizing the preparation of their Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) for the next programming period 2021-2027 – presented their approach in the definition of the Strategies, providing details on the process of selecting priorities, methodologies used and stakeholder and citizen engagement activities held.

Smart Specialisation (S3) is expected to continue to play a major role in cohesion policy and regional development, and towards economic transformation in the long run. It also has great potential for fostering eco-innovation processes that respond to global environmental challenges, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and EU Green Deal.

Smart specialisation S3

Claudia Chwalisz – coordinator at the OECD Innovative Citizen Participation Network – joined the TRANSFORM consortium meeting presenting the OECD’s report Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions. Catching the Deliberative Wave. The session focused on presenting findings from the report, including different types of models, trends, and considerations to keep in mind when setting up deliberation processes, good practice principles and institutionalisation. The discussion led to the impact of Covid-19 on deliberative practices, paving the way to improved digital solutions. Some useful examples were provided to overcome the difficulty to build trust in an online context and the challenge of representativeness and inclusion of vulnerable groups was also debated. Useful elements on these issues also emerged from the updates from CC-PES project, shared by our overseas partners from the Museum of Science in Boston.  

During the second day, thanks to a co-creation session led by BEpart on specific partners needs and expectations, four main streams of actions have been identified for mutual learning activities:

  1. Strengthening the support in research and innovation for implementing more RRI components. Raising awareness about the RRI concept and providing support.
  2. Better understanding of RRI in a research and innovation context. It might be challenging to find the right stakeholders. The process becomes easier when the right people are involved.
  3. Policies: Showcasing the added value of RRI required more financial support, but it is worth it.
  4. Indicators: TRANSFORM clusters rapidly observed a common priority to the three regions, namely the need to be able to evaluate the impact of integrating RRI in S3.

The project Communication and Dissemination Plan and visual identity and communication toolkit were then presented from AEIDL, which also gave an overview on the events in which Consortium partners took part in a number of international events in the past months: Pint of Science Festival in Brussels: ‘Shaping the city of tomorrow’, Research, innovation and the common good webinar organised by Art-ER, European Week of Regions and Cities 2020 – Shared Agendas: the Next Stage of the EDP.

Finally, the University of Bergen presented the First Monitoring and Evaluation Guide and shared a reflection on the different evaluation and monitoring needs within the project, among them the internal evaluation on the project, the analysis of impacts of TRANSFORM activities, S3 indicators, RRI monitoring tools for regional actors.   

TRANSFORM at Pint of Science

Partners have started a discussion on how to measure the RRI transformative changes within the framework of the three Regional Authorities and agreed that this requires the involvement of local stakeholders (Think Tank members) in a co-creation process. Taking into consideration the different needs of the three regional contexts cluster-tailored indicators will be explored. This challenge is also common to TRANSFORM sister projects, the other initiatives funded under the call SwafS-14-2018-2019-2020, with whom exchanges and synergies are already taking place.

Pictures from the 2nd Conosrtium meeting are available in the Photo gallery.

TRANSFORM Consortium meeting
TRANSFORM Consortium meeting
TRANSFORM Consortium meeting

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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