An effective way to get all actors more involved is through responsible research and innovation (RRI), one of the core concepts of Horizon 2020. This approach explains how maritime research and innovation can be responsible towards society by considering the needs of people and the environment, as well as by involving citizens in all stages. With this in mind, the EU-funded PIER (Public involvement with exhibition on responsible research and innovation) project organised an innovative and interactive exhibition featuring displays and multimedia products on RRI in marine sciences. Overall, the aim was to better engage researchers, businesses, media, educators, civil society organisations, policymakers and citizens in southern Italy. To gather information on potential exhibition themes, work began with the mapping of marine and ocean projects from previous EU framework programmes. Expert workshops and three focus groups followed, leading to the final selection of exhibition topics concerning fisheries and aquaculture, biodiversity, energy from the sea, disaster prevention, new materials from the sea and safe maritime transportation. Visitors learned about RRI initiatives via a mobile application that was available for download at the entrance. Before leaving, visitors were also able to create, share and upload their own digital diary based on their experiences. Questionnaires showed a very favourable experience overall and also revealed that the majority of visitors were not informed enough about relevant developments. Feedback resulted in recommendations to address RRI in exhibitions, science centres and science museum programmes. The exhibition was held from October 2014 to May 2015 at the City of Science museum in Naples. PIER highlighted and boosted the visibility of key RRI dimensions of marine research, drew attention to related European projects and gave various stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on marine-related issues. It ultimately fostered closer ties between the science community and the public.
Marine research, research and innovation, responsible research and innovation, public involvement