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PE2020 Report Summary

Project ID: 611826
Funded under: FP7-SIS
Country: Finland

Periodic Report Summary 1 - PE2020 (PE2020 – Public Engagement Innovations for Horizon 2020)

Project Context and Objectives:
PE2020 identifies, analyses and refines innovative public engagement (PE) tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society (SiS). PE2020 continues the work began in the MASIS project (2010-2012) by going deeper in analysing the dynamics of PE innovations and contributing to the potential and transferability of new governance innovations.
The objectives of PE2020 are to (A) develop a new evaluation toolkit for science policy actors that helps identify, evaluate and successfully transfer innovative PE practices among European countries and (B) introduce 6 refined and context-tailored PE practices. The project will do this by the following measures: (WP1) creating an updated inventory of current and prospective European PE innovations; (WP2) further developing a conceptual model that provides a systemic perspective of the dynamics of public and stakeholder engagement; (WP3) context-tailoring and piloting best practice PE processes related to the grand challenges of the Horizon 2020; and (WP4) developing an accessible net-based PE design toolkit. To increase its practical relevance, the project will (WP5) disseminate extensively its activities and collaborate intensively with researchers and science policy actors.
Based on the research activities, PE2020 will create new knowledge of the status quo and trends in the field of public engagement in science, refine innovative PE tools and instruments and propose new ones. PE2020 will expand the capacity of European and national science policy actors to integrate better societal engagement, by providing an easy access to new PE tools and instruments, to be included in the requirements and implementation of research in Horizon 2020 and beyond.

Project Results:

WP1 is now completed. The main output of WP1 is the catalogue of 38 innovative PE processes (D1.2). The catalogue is a unique collection of state-of-the-art innovative PE processes. The cases were selected from more than 250 systematically identified PE projects that were collected and preliminarily classified in D1.1. Among these cases, the PE2020 consortium selected 50 most innovative processes through a systematic process, where innovativeness was evaluated against a set of preliminary criteria of innovativeness, such as new ways of representation, methodological and institutional hybridity and bearing to political impacts and societal challenges. The 38 cases were described and analysed in D1.2. The report provides a set of inspiring PE cases for researchers and practitioners of PE, and data to be analysed in WP2. D1.2 is a 190-pages eBook freely available in the project website.
Other results of WP1 include an inventory of PE mechanisms and initiatives (D1.1). It encompasses 254 PE initiatives classified in 77 PE mechanisms that are clustered under 5 main categories of PE processes. The inventory is a useful source for PE practitioners and researchers interested in PE methods. D1.1 also provides a basis for further theoretical work in WP2. D1.3 is a summary of a scientific panel organized by PE2020 in the PCST conference in San Salvador, Brasil, in 2014. D1.4 is a summary report of WP1.

WP2 is still on-going, with final version of D2.1 published and drafts of D2.2 and D2.3 submitted.
D2.1 focused on the validation and enrichment of the categories and typologies of PE tools and instruments. It contributes to better understanding of innovativeness of PE. New PE processes currently pop up in many places, but not all of them are truly innovative. We have found that truly innovative processes are proud in mixing institutions, actors and methods in new ways. D2.1 provides a broad overview of innovative PE processes; it also documents a learning process that led to a change of a classic classification in the analysis of the PE cases, as we found that the dimension of formalized/non-formalized PE initiatives remained too vague and imprecise to be further used in the analysis.

D2.2 contains original analysis of the innovative PE processes in Europe and beyond, and contributing to a conceptual model that helps understanding innovativeness, participatory performance function and success of PE that contributes to dynamic governance and responsible research and innovation. Theoretical perspectives applied in D2.2 are illustrated in Figure 1. Furthermore, D2.2 will include concept maps and statistical analysis of the 38 cases. An example of concept maps is given in Figure 2. Deliverable 2.3 is the summary of WP2.

WP3 is the biggest WP with 24.5 person months, running from M4 to M25. It has the objective to pilot 6 innovative PE processes in the context of societal challenges. As planned, 6 pilots are being carried out in close collaboration with host research programmes and projects in Finland and Italy. The content and format of the pilots was presented and elaborated in ‘context tailoring workshops’ (D3.1).

The pilots have been a most creative and exciting part of the project, and there is much potential in them. Extensive collaboration with 6 target organizations has been influential in terms of networking, disseminating PE2020 ideas of public engagement, generating new PE processes, and ‘crowdsourcing’ ideas for new PE practices. The pilots collectively cover all seven Societal Challenges of the EU.

WP4 started in officially in M15 but a meta-analysis of 18 existing webtools has already done in the form of a paper submitted to review. Preliminary ideas of the webtool have been developed, and collaboration agreed with our sister project Engage2020. To build on their efforts, we will test their webtool, and if possible, integrate our own data and concepts as a new version of the webtool.

WP5 disseminates the results of PE2020 through multiple channels: a regularly updated blog, seminars and conference presentations, collaborations with national and EU level R&I policy actors, videos, reports and related policy briefs. Two research papers have been submitted to peer review evaluation, two conference proceedings published, and many more presentations given to different audiences. Collaboration with sister projects Engage2020 (webtool), CASI (policy conference), Morri (RRI issues) have been established.

Potential Impact:
In addition to existing work for the identification, analysis and reporting of innovative PE cases, we expect that PE2020 project will contribute to better theoretical understanding of participatory performance of PE in the context of research projects and programmes. This knowledge will be available through at least 4 academic papers, final versions of the WP2 reports, through the webtool and other PE2020 publications.

Some of the pilots are becoming groundbreaking tests with new approaches to public engagement in organizational contexts, where such activities have been limitedly exercised. Examples are ‘societal interaction plans’ that have been collaboratively initiated with JPI More Years, Better Life, and the Academy of Finland strategic research programme. Societal interaction plans are a new element introduced in calls for proposals of strategic research, requesting researchers to develop both intensive and extensive plans for interacting with the society. The first rounds of such proposals provide insights on how researchers themselves suggest research can best serve societal demands. Societal interaction plans can prospectively be used in future Horizon2020 calls. In another pilot case, the Future Earth global change research programme, we have seen a unique ‘living lab’ process emerging, resulting from our collaborations, based on a series of town hall meetings, where research demands are being co-designed with a broad set of academics, societal stakeholders and political actors. We expect that the international scope of this and other pilots allows that best PE practices will be more effectively included in future R&I programmes and projects.

The webtool and a policy conference to be organized collaboratively with the CASI project will ensure that all results of the PE2020 will be widely disseminated and included in the work of the EU Commission’s SWAF team, and more generally in SiS related work nationally and in the context of Horizon2020.

Our expectation of the wider socio-economic and societal implication of the PE2020 project is that it firstly contributes to a cultural change toward more responsive and responsible research and innovation activity. Through the pilots, increased academic evidence of the participatory performance and success factors of PE, and through close collaborations with key R&I policy actors, new PE practices will be developed, including new frameworks for more demand oriented research. Secondly, our project will provide will knowledge that helps putting more sound PE in future Horizon2020 R&I activities. Thirdly, as we have found it in recent research literature, increased public engagement with science will contribute to a greater capacity of European research and innovation system, in the form of new resources, tools of foresight, managing societally sensitive issues of technoscience, and building continuity for the emerging notion of responsible research and innovation.

List of Websites:


Pilvi Toppinen, (Senior Research Funding Advisor)
Tel.: +358294140454
Record Number: 184170 / Last updated on: 2016-06-08
Information source: SESAM
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