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Cultivating the fruits of shared innovation

Responsible research and innovation can significantly support collaboration between healthcare sectors and research and innovation policies. Through the EU-funded CHERRIES project, a consortium of partners across Europe supports the development and market-uptake of responsible healthcare innovations.

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CHERRIES (Constructing Healthcare Environments through Responsible Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategies) supports healthcare research and innovation policy and pilot actions by interlinking responsible research and innovation (RRI), demand-side policy and regional innovation models. The project aims to create more open, inclusive and self-sustaining R&I ecosystems by ensuring bottom-up involvement of all kinds of citizens, irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background. The CHERRIES model is being implemented through RRI policy experiments in the healthcare sector across three European regions – in Murcia, Spain, Örebro in Sweden and Cyprus. Using an RRI framework, the CHERRIES team is mobilising stakeholders to form regional pilot actions. These initiatives identify local needs in the healthcare sector and encourage the proposition and co-creation of innovative solutions to these identified needs. Experience has shown that innovations produced in this participatory manner will have a higher chance of being widely adopted and achieving commercial success. The regional pilots also facilitate reflection on how to innovate healthcare practices through participatory approaches, and present evidence-based recommendations for the revision of sectoral policies, strategies and innovation support instruments. The pilots address the progression of multiple sclerosis, loneliness in elderly people, and the provision of healthcare services for people living in remote areas. Bringing together 12 institutions including universities, research organisations, SMEs, healthcare institutions and regional authorities from seven EU Member States, CHERRIES will contribute to more open, transparent and democratic research and innovation systems in the engaged regions and beyond, producing positive societal, democratic, environmental and scientific impacts.