Skip to main content

Joining Efforts for Responsible Research and Innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - JERRI (Joining Efforts for Responsible Research and Innovation)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-05-31

TNO in the Netherlands and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany are the two largest applied research organisations (RTOs) in Europe.
Applied research is crucial for addressing societal challenges of all kinds from climate change to public health. To make sure however that these contributions really achieve the expected benefits for society it is of utmost importance that all actors adopt responsible research and innovation practices such as engaging societal stakeholders, communicating insights, reflecting on ethical concerns and promoting gender equality.

In JERRI we have joined forces in order to better align our research and innovation activities with societal needs by adopting responsible research and Innovation practices. Through our diverse cooperation partners and clients we aim to further spread these practices across the research and innovation landscape. Thereby we ultimately hope to make a lasting contribution to the quality of life and wellbeing of citizens in Europe and beyond.

In line with the above mentioned objectives of the project we realized the following impact at the end of the project:

1. In both organisations are now several new RRI capacities (for every key dimension) available that will foster the ongoing transition process towards RRI in Fraunhofer and TNO. Through the process of the project, we also could gain central insights about the internal and external conditions for organisational change of RTOs towards RRI. This includes also measures of how to ensure a long-lasting impact of the JERRI outcomes for both organisations after the project itself has ended.
2. By engaging in a large number of internal and external meetings, workshops, (scientific) conferences, networks etc. we discussed and shared our insights, progress and outcomes with relevant stakeholders, especially similar RTOs across the European landscape, but also to other actors from the R&I landscape like industry, universities and funders.
3. This multilevel learning and communication process will further stimulate the transition towards an innovation system that is betterin line with the values, needs and expectations of society.
The JERRI transformation process involves four major phases:

1 Understanding how change in organisations is possible in principle and exploration of the current situation
2 Setting of ambitious RRI goals
3 The set-up of a long-term transformation plan
4 Implementation of pilot activities to initiate this transformation and reach the adopted goals.

Both organisations are undergoing the phases in parallel, covering each of the five dimensions proposed within the RRI framework of the European Commission: Societal engagement, Gender equality, Open access, Ethics, Science education as well as crosscutting issues such as RRI governance.
The two organisations share experiences and lessons learned on a regular basis and with other RTOs and stakeholders. The process is complemented by an international mutual learning process involving two international organisations Arizona State University (ASU) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). One workpackage (8) is dedicated to a monitoring of the change process by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna.
Within the first reporting period both organisations have gone through the first stage of rri goal setting (Deliverables 2.2/3.2) and exchanged on the lessons learned (Deliverable 10.2). The international mutual learning has gone through the first phase of interviews and workshops and results have been documented (Deliverable 9.2). The monitoring team has developed a tailored monitoring concept, monitored the whole process accordingly and documented insights and recommendations (Deliverable 8.1 and 8.2).

During the second reporting period both organisations have developed action plans (Deliverable 4.2/5.2) that will navigate our long-term transformation process towards deeply embedded RRI practices, even after the project duration time now has ended. For a start and to initiate this RRI transformation process Fraunhofer and TNO carried out several pilot activites (workpackage 6/7) that are now implemented. As a result the following RRI capacities are now among others available in Fraunhofer and TNO:

- A workshop format enabling R&I teams to systematically reflect on ethical aspects of their research (Fraunhofer).
- Development of training game for managers and trainees raising ethical awareness and moral capabilities (TNO).

- A toolbox providing easy access to good practice examples for advancing gender equality in research organisations (Fraunhofer).
- Implicit bias training for senior management (TNO).

Open Access:
- An infrastructure for repository providing open access to research data (Fraunhofer).
- Internal Open Science Platform (TNO).

Societal Engagement:
- A discussion format in which societal needs can be put forth to science (Fraunhofer).
- Involvement of ususal stakeholders in advisory council (TNO).

To realize the full potential of these capacities both TNO and Fraunhofer undertook numerous measures for internal communication addressing Fraunhofer/TNO staff as one key target group (workpackage 10). Besides this internal dissemination of the results we engaged during the whole project process in an exchange with international partners (workpackage 9) and other European Research and Technology Organisations. At the end of the project we have summarized all our findings and insights concerning organisational change towards RRI in our 'RTO Engagement Manual' (Deliverable 10.3) which we designed as a set of postcards and delivered to several other RTOs in order to stimulate a dialogue with them.

Like the first period, also the second period was monitored and evaluated in order to provide continuous formative feedback to improve the quality of the JERRI processes and the significance of their outcomes (workpackage 8). A final summative evaluation report (Deliverable 8.4) was generated at the end of the project.
Until the end of the project we expect:

1. Implementation of a range of responsible research and innovation practices in TNO and Fraunhofer documented in two reports (Deliverables D6.1 and 7.1)
2. Long term plans for further transformation towards RRI practices (documented in Deliverables 4.2. 5.2 (First Version) 6.2 and 7.2(Final Version).
3. Substantial learning for similar transition processes through the learnings from the Monitoring process (documented in Deliverables 8.3 and 8.4)
4. Deepening the learning process from the international organisations (documented in Deliverables 9.2 and 9.3)
5. Up-scaling the RRI transition processes on two levels. On the first level up-scaling to RTOs and similar research organizations across EU 28 will be facilitated through intense exchange supported by the EARTO association in several targeted activities outlined below. On the second level, we will be able to leverage the unique function of RTOs in the European innovation system as mediators between fundamental research and innovation activities in industry and society as well as innovation policy which is often supporting RTOs. This position will allow JERRI to catalyse RRI transition processes in diverse realms of the EU 28 R&I landscape such as industry, CSOs, citizens, university, funders and innovation policy actors. This process will be supported by specific products and outreach activities (Deliverables 10.3 and 10.4)
Impact will be achieved on two levels (1) through other RTOs (2) cooperation partners and clients