Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge.

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ORION (Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge.)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-09-30

The ORION project aims to trigger evidence-based institutional, cultural and behavioural changes in Research Funding and Performing Organizations (RFPOs), targeting researchers, management staff and high-level leadership. Our long term vision is to “embed” Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles (ethics, gender, governance, open access, public engagement, and science education) in RFPOs, in their policies, practices and processes to organize and do research.
Our main five objectives are:
1. Assess: gather information and understand current views, knowledge and practice about Open Science and RRI among stakeholders and citizens in six European countries.
2. Co-create: co-design and perform multiple “open experiments”, following different methodologies, and with multiple actors.
3. Train: design, deliver and disseminate innovative training on Open Science and RRI (face-to-face and online), targeting researchers at early career stages, policy-makers and staff at funding organisations.
4. Embed: embed “lessons learnt” during the project lifetime to induce institutional and culture changes at RFPOs.
5. Outreach: engage different RFPOs and other stakeholders to disseminate projects activities and key outcomes.
The consortium has counted on the participation of six RFPOs in four European countries: four research institutes (CRG, MU, MDC and BI) and two funders (ISCIII and JCMM). They collaborate with other ORION partners, including two civil society organizations (VA, ANT) and a group focusing on social sciences and evaluation (UAB/CRECIM).
The ORION journey started in May 2017 in Barcelona, when we gathered project partners from across Europe to brainstorm on the project's evolution and cook tapas together. This cooking experience reflects the approach we have taken throughout the project as we actively explored different ways of embedding Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI, through co-creation, collaboration and experimentation.
Within WP2, we carried out first, an initial assessment of the state-of-the-art on Open Science and RRI in our institutions and in our countries, and secondly, four key national stakeholder workshops in Spain, UK, Czech Republic and Germany. These workshops allowed to discuss in depth: 1) the assessment exercise on Open Science awareness, knowledge and practice in the participating RFPOs; and 2) the open consultation about perception of Open Science and life sciences among citizens in six European countries. Multiple actors, including funders, policy makers, teachers, communicators, and researchers, brainstormed with ORION partners and provided new ideas and recommendations for the future project´s activities as well as national initiatives.
WP3 on “open experiments” is central to ORION. All ORION partners engaged in co-creation. To incorporate external views from the early start, the two funders, JCMM and ISCIII, organized interactive workshops to co-create their new funding instruments, a call for research proposals open to University students at JCMM, and an RRI Health prize for research institutes at ISCIII. These new participatory funding schemes allowed spreading the practice of Open Science to more researchers and institutions. Moreover, the CRG co-designed and implemented a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future research strategy of the institute, which allowed incorporating external views in the new strategic plan of the institute. Importantly, BI coordinated and implemented the public dialogues on genome editing in four European countries, each co-organized with an ORION partner. The process was interactive and participatory, from design to implementation. To stimulate further the dialogue, MDC collaborated with an artist for the production of an artwork, Aeon, which explores the speculative future of genome editing and aging. As part of WP3, CRG carried out a call on citizen science on fundamental research. The two selected projects implemented their participatory activities: GENIGMA led by CRG, focusing on studying the genome of cancer cells, and SMOVE led by MDC, focusing on sedentary behaviour in pupils. Both projects follow the Open Science “philosophy”, engaging in an open dialogue with multiple stakeholders from the very beginning throughout their development. Finally, ORION opened a call on co-creation in life sciences research to engage additional partners outside the consortium. Two additional projects emerged: MELTIC, co-creating ICT health services for small communities in Europe, and VACCINE, co-creating with young people a digital game to engage the public with the science behind vaccines, infections and the immune system.
In WP4, MDC run multiple trainings in multiple formats, reaching out to junior researchers, funders and project managers: WP5 focuses on evaluation. UAB-CRECIM set up the evaluation framework and developed detailed evaluation plans for each task. Most evaluation tools proved effective for data gathering purposes. At occasions, CRECIM expanded the original evaluation plan in order to provide with a very robust evaluation of the co-creation activities, the training and the project as a whole.
Finally, VA led outreach and dissemination (WP6), setting up a collaborative communication and dissemination plan. The ORION project expanded its visibility among the research community and relevant actors through social media, the project´s website, Newsletters, invited talks, posters, workshops, the press and the final international workshops and conferences.
ORION leaves behind an impressive collection of resources that package the learnings gained throughout the project and make them openly and freely available for anyone to reuse. The Inspiring stories booklet is a compilation of stories, which capture the "EUREKA moments", highlighting successes and learnings from activities conducted during the ORION Open Science project. The final summary publication, “Involving society in science”, contains ten reflections on how to engage effectively citizens in research, underlining potential conflicts as well as the gains and the benefits from such approaches (EMBO Reports, 2021). Additional resources include protocols and evaluation to run similar co-creation activities and the trainings.
Overall, ORION succeeded in catalysing institutional and cultural changes to embed Open Science and RRI in the participating institutions and their key actors (high level management staff, researchers, administrators), and beyond the consortium, engaging other RFPOs, researchers, policy makers, science educators, patient associations, civil society organisations, and industry.
And the journey continues as the ORION project partners are implementing their institutional Action Plans to further embed Open Science into their own institutions and inspire others to follow and exchange experiences. This is what Open Science is all about – collaboration, sharing and growing together for a fair progress of knowledge and science.
ORION logo