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Society in Innovation and Science through CODEsign

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SISCODE (Society in Innovation and Science through CODEsign)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-07-31

The fast advancements in science and technology are posing the urgent need to ensure that science, technology and innovation outcomes and policies become closer to the values, needs and expectations of society. This may be achieved through the adoption of responsible research and innovation principles: the deeper engagement of citizens in science and innovation; the application of ethical principles; the consideration of gender issues; the diffusion of knowledge about science and technology; and the openness and accessibility of the results achieved.
Over the last years different policies and programmes across Europe called for a comprehensive review of the role of citizens in science, technology and innovation, not only through information and consultation but also as a result of their active participation in decision-making. Co-creation - intended as a bottom-up process in which citizens work together with the other actors to co-design and co-produce the solutions they need at the interplay of state, private sector and civil society - has been identified as a possible approach to public engagement able to make research and innovation more responsible. Nevertheless, many barriers are still in place that are hampering the integration of co-creation in European research and innovation policies and programmes.
SISCODE is a research and innovation action that aims at better understanding how to use co-creation methodologies to bring advancements in science, technology and innovation closer to the values, needs and expectations of society. SISCODE’s core objective is to provide guidance on how to concretely achieve responsible research and innovation through the experimentation of a set of co-creation methodologies, which is meant to make them applicable in real-life settings and suited for scalability and replication in diverse contexts.
SISCODE is conducting European-wide research to understand the dynamics of co-creation ecosystems, as well as the outcomes that can be obtained from the adoption of co-creation methodologies and tools in connection with responsible research and innovation.
The project knowledge base has been established by reviewing and interpreting literature about co-creation in different fields.
A design-driven process with a set of co-creation tools has been set up, and ten co-creation labs spread across Europe are experimenting with this toolkit to give shape to innovative solutions to local societal challenges, engaging multiple actors and generating real life knowledge that the project is accumulating.
A large number of case studies of co-creation in diverse fields is under development to produce knowledge that will be compared with the results of the field experimentation.
A few dialogues with policy makers have been conducted and many more have been planned, with the aim of using the results of the ongoing experimentation to test new ways to reconnect policy design with grassroots initiatives, drawing policy making closer to the needs of citizens and society as a whole.
An exploitation strategy has been developed, to ensure that the outcomes of the single experiments conducted in the co-creation labs, as well as the overall valuable outcomes of the research activities, can be fully exploited beyond the duration of the project.
The dissemination of the results has been planned and started both at the local level and at the level of the overall project. Local dissemination plans have been set up with the co-creation labs, while the whole dissemination plan has been elaborated defining the key messages for the different target audiences, providing partners with tools to communicate the project activities and outcomes, and organising a number of communication and dissemination activities at both levels.
SISCODE aims at advancing knowledge about the use of co-creation methodologies to help organisations and local innovation ecosystems climb up the ladder of public engagement, progressively moving from information and consultation to co-creation. In this respect, the project aims at understanding the cultural, organisational and procedural transformations needed to embed co-creation as a design-driven approach to make research and innovation practices more responsible, overcoming barriers and resistance to change.
SISCODE is intersecting different research streams with a focus on experimentation and a view to operationalise co-creation as an approach that can make research and innovation more responsible. In particular, the project aims at releasing practical guidance and tools for co-creation based on real life knowledge, overcoming the current approach to responsible research and innovation, which has configured it as a quite abstract concept confined to the research community. This would grant relevant impact in the medium and long term, due to the possibility to concretely transform the practices of organisations and local innovation ecosystems towards the inclusion of responsible research and innovation principles.
SISCODE is exploiting the necessity to develop an assessment framework for its ongoing experimentation, as a possibility to extend its validity and applicability beyond the project. In particular, the development of an assessment framework for responsible research and innovation at the project level is emerging as a relevant opportunity. This would complement the existing assessment frameworks, which operate at a much broader level and are primarily focused on comparing performances at the national scale. This would grant relevant impact in the medium and long term, in particular with a view to a more transversal role for responsible research and innovation in future research programmes.
Mind map for the co-design of the solution at Polifactory - Politecnico di Milano
Stakeholder map co-designed at Underbroen - Copenhagen
Systhesis of the initial research conducted at Thess-AHALL - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki