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Conference 'A citizen science decade (2020-2030) in support to the Sustainable Development Goals'

This grant will be awarded without call for proposals in line with Article 195(e) of the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1046/2018 and Article 11(2) of the Rules for participation and dissemination in ""Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)"", Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013.

This activity directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders is excluded from the delegation to REA and will be managed by the Commission services.

Citizen science is blooming across all scientific disciplines and the humanities and is promoted as part of open science under the 3Os Strategy. Responding to this, citizen science is a strategic priority in the Science with and for Society Work (SwafS) Programme 2018-2020. The present Work Programme supports one project to co-ordinate citizen science initiatives (SwafS-15-2018-2020, CSA), multiple projects to obtain novel scientific and innovation results through citizen science (SwafS-15-2018-2020, RIA), one project to analyse the ethical implications of interactions between different stakeholders (including citizens) in innovation processes (SwafS-16-2019), and one project to carry out research on citizen science itself (SwafS-17-2019).

Building on and helping valorise the support given to citizen science through the SwafS Work Programme 2018-2020, the Commission will support a conference on citizen science to be held during the second semester of 2020. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the future strategy for citizen science and actions at EU and global levels. It will enhance dialogue and knowledge sharing between the stakeholders engaged in the quadruple helix (e.g. policy makers, academia, research institutions, research funding agencies, researchers, citizens and civil society organisations), with the aim of achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The conference will take stock of and draw conclusions from the varied citizen science projects supported so far, focusing not only on SwafS-funded citizen science projects, but also on those supported by different parts of Horizon 2020 and notable examples emanating from global, national, regional and grassroots initiatives. One area of focus of the conference will be on institutional changes towards Responsible Research and Innovation related to citizen science, taking stock of the SwafS achievements in this field. It will also include an assessment of the experience and results/impacts of the Open Science strategy and the EU funded citizen science projects.

Overall, the conference will cover the state of citizen science in Europe in comparison to other regions, the challenges encountered to promoting and conducting citizen science, the potentials and drawbacks of greater involvement of citizens in R&I processes, and the policy needs of citizen science. Through discussion, the conference will also re-examine long-standing questions relating to science itself – as an institution, methodology, and career path.

Expected impact: The conference will help the Commission and other research funding organisations to assess the latest developments, impacts, benefits and challenges posed by citizen science. It will provide policy input to on-going initiatives relating to citizen science under the Open Science strategy, in the European Research Area (ERA), Horizon 2020 and to its successor, the proposed Horizon Europe programme. It will enable lessons to be drawn and preparation of suitable funding and policy responses for the beginning of the decade 2020-2030 in order to harness the potentials and maximise the benefits of citizen involvement in R&I for the SDGs. The action will progress towards the targets of the SDG 17 on ‘Partnerships for the goals’.