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Science in Dialogue - Conference during the Danish EU presidency

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Conferences get interactive

Research and innovation is an area in which Europe excels and is recognised globally as a major player. For Denmark, having taken over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union last year, this represented an activity they were keen to develop further.

Digital Economy

The 'Science in dialogue - Conference during the Danish EU presidency' (SID) project was set up to achieve just that. The main interest was in reaching an agreement on the European Commission's proposal for a framework for EU research and innovation funding from 2014–2020 for Horizon 2020. In order to facilitate discussions among the Member States on the Commission's proposal, several conferences were organised focusing on key areas relating to Horizon 2020. In particular, one conference was titled 'Science in dialogue – Towards a European model for responsible research and innovation' and took place 23–25 April 2012 in Odense. Organised by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI), the symposium was in collaboration with the independent think tank Danish Business Research Academy (DEA) and SDU. In all, a total of 160 delegates attended from all over Europe, with more than 35 highly qualified speakers and panellists. The overall objective was to provide a concept of responsible research and innovation (RRI) by offering a platform for European discussion. The concept would then be discussed from different angles and perspectives. Encouraging a high level of interaction among participants was one of the aims of the conference, with iPads distributed to allow for asking questions and posting comments to the speakers and panelists. Some of the comments expressed at the conference were that the concept of RRI should be widely used in the development of Horizon 2020. It was also recommended that innovation capacity could be heightened through the involvement of citizens. And that researchers and entrepreneurs could encourage this by issuing research and development in a public context. In addition, there were 17 suggestions for future action to promote RRI on both a national and international level. These included making cooperation with stakeholders obligatory in parts of Horizon 2020, and ideas for an open innovation process to benefit companies and citizens. Overall, it is predicted that the RRI will play an important role in the future of frameworks relating to European research and innovation.

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