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Society in Innovation and Science through CODEsign

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SISCODE (Society in Innovation and Science through CODEsign)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2021-04-30

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.
SISCODE research and innovation action started in May 2018 with the aim of better understanding how to use co-creation methodologies to make research and innovation more responsible.
In April 2021, SISCODE successfully concluded its European-wide research and experimentation. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was able to triangulate results from desk, field and action research. For this last research stream, the foreseen phases of ideation, development, prototyping, and testing were completed, releasing functioning prototypes of solutions responding to local societal challenges. Thanks to this experimentation, the project produced guidance on how to concretely achieve responsible research and innovation through a set of co-creation methodologies applicable in real-life settings and suited for scalability and replication in diverse contexts. In particular, an Interactive Guidebook allows for the guided setup and customization of co-creation processes, while SISCODE’s Learning Hub and MOOC provide resources to manage co-creation in policymaking. Moreover, SISCODE elaborated a model of co-creation ecosystems that describes different levels of maturity and provides indications for managing factors and dynamics that give the possibility to upgrade and achieve higher levels of responsibility for the benefit of society.
SISCODE concluded its European-wide research for the understanding of co-creation as a phenomenon flourishing across Europe, analyzing it as a bottom-up and design-driven approach. The surrounding context and ecosystem was analysed to identify potential for scalability and replication for the fertilization of RRI practices and policies.
The analysis of existing studies as cases and innovation biographies was concluded with an extensive comparative analysis (WP2). The action research conducted in WP3 completed the phases of ideation and testing producing ten functioning prototypes as solutions responding to local societal challenges. Each solution engaged multiple actors and stakeholders and triggered a series of knowledge acquisition and broader transformation within the labs as organizations and their ecosystem of operation. A book is being published by Springer in September 2021 narrating all ten cases developed within SISCODE (https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030787325)
The dialogue with policymakers was continued both as part of the pilot experimentation and a series of workshops with and for policy makers organized by the consortium partners. These interactions investigated the connection of small-scale experiments to policy design and large-scale impacts drawing policymaking to societal and individual needs in WP4. Moreover, a learning repository has been developed to provide concrete support for policymakers and disseminate SISCODE’s findings and best practices (http://siscodeproject.eu/repository).
Ecosystems of co-creation were analysed in depth with a specific focus on the dynamics between different contextual factors and levels of maturity. The context-dependency of co-creation in RRI was addressed with the development of an Interactive Guidebook that allows the guided set up and customization of co-creation processes and journeys (https://siscodeproject.eu/guidebook/).
The overall exploitation strategy developed as part of WP6 takes all project results and the single prototypes developed in WP3 into consideration to fully take advantage of the 14 identified Key Exploitable Results (KER) produced within SISCODE - also beyond the duration of the project. For this reason, three service business models were created outlining exploitable actions. Furthermore, a community of practice around the exchange on co-creation and RRI practices (CoRRI forum) was established.
A wide and diverse range of actors and stakeholders was reached with the results of SISCODE and engaged in the project’s activities reaching the dissemination objectives set at the beginning (WP7). A MOOC was developed as part of the overall dissemination strategy available on POK POLIMI (https://www.pok.polimi.it/courses/course-v1:Polimi+CCP101+2021_M3/about) and EU Academy (https://academy.europa.eu/courses/co-creation-for-policymakers-an-introductory-course). The COVID-19 pandemic was taken as an opportunity to promote the digital assets and develop new ones to reach an audience all around the globe.
SISCODE gathered advanced knowledge on the use of co-creation methodologies to help organizations 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 analyzed the cultural, organizational, 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 intersects different research streams with a focus on experimentation and a view to operationalizing co-creation as an approach to make research and innovation more responsible.
In particular, the project produced concrete indications and practical guidance and tools for co-creation based on real-life knowledge. This resulted as fundamental in overcoming the current approach to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), which has configured it as a quite abstract concept confined exclusively to the research community.
In this way, SISCODE provides insights and pathways on how to concretely transform practices of organizations and local innovation ecosystems towards the inclusion of RRI principles to grant relevant impact in the medium and long term.
The learning framework for the adoption of co-creation and the assessment framework developed within the project are considered a heritage with the potential to be applied to other projects in the future.
In particular, the development of an assessment framework for RRI at the project level emerged as a pressing issue in the community of RRI and a relevant opportunity for SISCODE. In constant exchange with other initiatives in the field of RRI, SISCODE contributes to the elaboration of broader assessment frameworks and practices to complement them and adapt them to a project scale and impact transversally in future research programs.
Mind map for the co-design of the solution at Polifactory - Politecnico di Milano
Dimensions and dynamics of co-creation ecosystems
Stakeholder map co-designed at Underbroen - Copenhagen
Overall results of the pilot experimentation
Systhesis of the initial research conducted at Thess-AHALL - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki