Skip to main content

Programme Category

Programme

Article available in the folowing languages:

Hands-on citizen science and frugal innovation


Sub-topic A, Citizen science: This will focus on hands-on citizen science activities. Proposals may focus on one particular area of scientific enquiry or tackle several, though social sciences and humanities and/or transdisciplinary approaches would be particularly welcomed. The intended citizen science activities should be clearly defined and result in novel means of social inclusion, and the development of new knowledge, new technologies, or new means of using existing technological or social innovations better. Effort should also be made to evaluate the impacts on society, democracy, the economy, science itself, and the individual citizen scientists involved. Lines of communication should be established with SwafS projects (e.g. EU-Citizen.Science CitieS-Health, MICS, ACTION, SUPER_MoRRI) in order to share information on activities, evaluation data and research and innovation content arising from the citizen science in the spirit of open science (see Grant Conditions).

Sub-topic B, Frugal innovation: This sub-topic will support hands-on activities to develop frugal innovations. Frugal innovations minimise cost and complexity and are aimed at low-income population groups in any part of the world that are scalable, durable and environmentally sustainable, but often using state-of-the-art technologies and know-how. The intended activities should involve citizens and/or civil society organisations alongside innovators, with the primary aim of developing frugal innovations. Particular attention should be paid to ethical issues related to the innovation processes, the involvement of low-income populations in the development processes themselves, the sustainability of the innovations, and their likely cost effectiveness; this sub-topic therefore requires the involvement of SSH expertise in consortia. Efforts should be made to showcase the developed innovation(s) with a view to encouraging their widespread adoption/market take-up. Effort should also be made to evaluate the impacts on society, democracy, the economy, innovation processes and the individual citizen innovators involved in the activities.Lines of communication should be established with other relevant SwafS projects (e.g. EU-Citizen.Science CitieS-Health, MICS, ACTION, SUPER_MoRRI, RRING, RiConfigure, SISCODE, LIV.IN and I AM RRI) in order to share evaluation data arising from the activities in the spirit of open science (see Grant Conditions)..

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged in both sub-topics.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 1.80 million and EUR 2,20 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Citizen science is blooming across scientific disciplines. It can potentially bring a wide variety of benefits to researchers, citizens of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, policy makers and society across the research and innovation cycle, e.g.; it can accelerate and sometimes even make possible the production of new scientific knowledge; it can lead to innovations that meet the needs of disadvantaged population groups; it can contribute to active citizenship, civic education and empowerment of the individuals and society to build social capital in communities through stimulating social networking and knowledge exchange, and social capacity in terms of the knowledge-producing capacity of society, thus helping policy makers to make more informed and targeted policies; it can help policy makers monitor implementation and compliance with regulations; it can increase public awareness about science and feeling of ownership of policies; and it can enable faster and evidence-informed reactions to events and better territorial coverage.

At the same time, citizen science may have difficulties obtaining mainstream science funding, participating in international collaborations, sharing research data so that it can be used by other science actors, partnering with leading scientific establishments, building capacities and learning among the citizen scientists themselves, evaluating the impacts of the activities undertaken, and engaging in long-term activities as part of a structured and ambitious scientific agenda.

Citizen science should be understood broadly, covering a range of different levels of participation, from raising public knowledge of science, encouraging citizens to participate in the scientific process by observing, gathering and processing data, right up to setting scientific agenda and co-designing and implementing science-related policies. It could also involve publication of results and teaching science.

Involvement of citizen scientists must be in line with Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, e.g. regardless of sex, age, social origin. In order to improve science-society relations, efforts should be made to include all parts of society, including hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups, in citizen science activities.

The present topic will focus on two specific aspects of citizen science.

  1. Citizen science: Development of new scientific knowledge and/or innovations with/by citizen scientists. Evaluation evidence concerning the societal, democratic and economic costs and benefits of citizen science. Consortia should choose a basket of indicators to measure the impact of their work. In particular, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators (for instance PE1 to PE10) and to the Sustainable Development Goals[[https://publications.europa.eu/s/jPcI. DOI: 10.2777/207020 and http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ https://publications.europa.eu/s/jPcI. DOI: 10.2777/207020 and http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/]].

  2. Frugal innovation: Development of one or more frugal innovations with/by citizens. Evaluation data concerning the societal, democratic and economic costs and benefits of the frugal innovation activities. Consortia should choose a basket of indicators to measure the impact of their work. In particular, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators (for instance PE1 to PE10) and to the Sustainable Development Goals[[https://publications.europa.eu/s/jPcI. DOI: 10.2777/207020 and http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ https://publications.europa.eu/s/jPcI. DOI: 10.2777/207020 and http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/]]