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New directions for involving citizens in research and innovation agendas

Setting directions for research and innovation is usually not a job of citizens. But, the CIMULACT project has paved the way for involving citizens in the actual formulation of research and innovation agendas.

"Projects like CIMULACT have made interaction with citizens possible," the EU Commission writes in the introduction of the Research and Innovation (R&I) Work Programme Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 expects to invest EUR 30 billion in R&I over the period 2018-2020 and is hereby the most powerful programme for setting directions for R&I in the EU. With this statement the Commission indicates central aspects of visions have been integrated for sustainable and desirable futures developed by citizens across Europe during the CIMULACT project. "We are happy to see that the EU Commission has listened to what European citizens find important to prioritise in research and innovation," says CIMULACT project coordinator Lars Klüver, Danish Board of Technology, who is proud to see three years of interaction with citizens, experts and stakeholders in the EU's R&I agenda settings have been useful and appreciated by the Commission. CIMULACT stands for 'Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020'. The aim of the project has been to engage European citizens in the EU’s R&I agenda Horizon 2020 and consequently for preparation of the Framework Programme 9 Horizon Europe. Since the project was launched in 2015, thousands of citizens have been consulted along with experts and stakeholders. Together they have formulated themes that people from R&I communities can apply for funding for through Horizon 2020. The principle of engaging citizens in R&I is not new in the European Commission, where engagement is a core value and principle for responsible research and innovation. But, although it has been a high priority for the Commission to integrate citizens' views in the R&I agenda, it has been a difficult goal to reach. CIMULACT is a lynchpin in making EU research agendas open to society being grounded in societal needs and demands. But, the OECD has also chosen CIMULACT as one of six good practice cases for engaging citizens in science. CIMULACT has in other words shown that it is relevant to engaging citizens in defining R&I agendas, and not least that it is possible. CIMULACT major achievements: -Developed 23 citizen-based suggestions for Horizon 2020 topics -Mentioned as source of input in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme (2018-2020) -Presented in the Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020 as significant contributor to Horizon 2020 -Was chosen by the OECD as a good practice case for engagement of citizens in science -Outcomes remain relevant for the preparation of Framework Programme 9 – Horizon Europe -Developed 11 new or adjusted methods for engaging citizens in R&I For more information on the CIMULACT project:


RRI, Open Science, Open research agenda settings, Citizen engagement


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, 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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