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Content archived on 2023-04-03

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Release of 23 citizens-based suggestions for Horizon 2020 topics

With the release of 23 citizens-based suggestions for Horizon 2020 topics the CIMULACT project demonstrates that up-stream engagement of citizens is possible and marks a shift in how research can be defined.

Open science is not just about making science available to people; it is also about engaging people in setting the direction for research. The latter has been the core idea behind the ambitious participatory project CIMULACT, which has recently released 23 citizens-based suggestions for Horizon 2020 topics. The 23 topics touch different challenges European citizens find in their everyday life and specify how research may address these challenges – e.g. how we ensure equal and holistic health services for all; how we develop evidence-based personalized healthcare; how education can be a driver for social innovation and local development; or how we get smarter consumption. During the project, more than 1500 citizens from 30 European countries, together with a variety of other actors, have been engaged in a large-scale effort to collect citizens’ visions, needs and concerns in a format that has been transformed into concrete research and policy recommendations. “Involving so many people with just as many different backgrounds and views has been challenging and we are still trying to optimise these processes,” says Lars Klüver, project coordinator. However, Lars Klüver also emphasises that although the methodology is not perfect, such activities could and should be implemented in all branches of the EU research system: “CIMULACT has accomplished something new, which already demarcates a shift in the view on how research can be defined.” The goal of the 23 research topics is that they will be used by the European Commission when formulating the next round of Horizon 2020 topics. However, it is also the hope that results and the project’s methodology will inspire national research agendas across Europe. The CIMULACT results are significant since they show that citizens – alongside experts and stakeholders – are capable of producing unique, concrete and innovative input to the European research and innovation agenda. However, they also demonstrate that it is feasible to open up science and enhance mutual understanding and collaboration between policymakers, researchers and citizens. Where to learn more? For more information on the project and the national partners, please visit where you can also find the project results, including the 23 suggestions for Horizon 2020 topics. Get a flavor of the results:


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom

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