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Scientific Understanding and Provision of an Enhanced and Robust Monitoring system for RRI

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SUPER_MoRRI (Scientific Understanding and Provision of an Enhanced and Robust Monitoring system for RRI)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-03-31

Across Europe, research performing and research funding organisations (RPOs and RFOs) increasingly appreciate the need for a more dynamic governance and a better societal integration of research and innovation. Internal drivers of change (such as the digitalization of science) and political will to better align with societal needs and concerns are bringing about aspirational policies and processes of transformation of the R&I system, including those of RRI – responsible research and innovation.
In order for the aspirations of RRI to be realised, robust tools must be developed for R&I policy and practice. The MoRRI project (2014-2018) conceptualised and implemented the first RRI monitoring system in Europe. The SUPER_MoRRI project builds upon and continues the work of MoRRI, ensuring sustained data collection, curation, further assessment and refinement of the MoRRI indicators. EU-28(-27) data will be complemented by monitoring data from selected non-EU countries. Furthermore, SUPER_MoRRI will go well beyond the technical efforts of MoRRI and develop a more complete scientific understanding of the complex and diverse relationships between RRI policies and practices and their societal, democratic, economic and scientific benefits. These theoretical advances together with the continuous data stream into the project form the basis of the iterative learning processes needed to create a mature monitoring system with indicators and metrics that are robust, realistic, in themselves responsible, and easy to implement.
To meet these ambitious research challenges, the original scientific partners of MoRRI have included complementary RRI expertise to form the truly interdisciplinary SUPER_MoRRI consortium. In line with the concept of RRI itself, our learning processes will also be enhanced by participatory co-creation practices with stakeholders. Last, but not least, the project includes a series of measures to facilitate dissemination and uptake of the mature monitoring systems for a range of uses, including benchmarking on national and regional levels and self-assessment opportunities for RPOs and RFOs. Specifically, we will provide an easy-to-use and easy-to-customize online dashboard system that will serve a variety of uses and end-users.
"In the following, an overview of the research activities carried out over the course of the first 15 months in the project ""Scientific Understanding and Provision of an Enhanced and Robust Monitoring system for RRI (SUPER MoRRI)"" will be presented. Overall, the various tasks of the individual Work Packages (WP) have been carried out as planned. The few instances in which tasks had to be adjusted and deliverables had to be delayed will entail no negative affects on the successful progress of the project. While the COVID-19 health crisis had severe implications for key steps of the project, the consortium - in close exchange with the Project Officer - was able to rearrange the affected parts of the project plan in order to ensure that the project's objectives will be achieved nonetheless.

The first 15 months of SUPER MoRRI were primarily characterised by three processes and developments: (1) project establishment, (2) foundational and strategic work and (3) network development:
1. Establishing the project: Setting up effective and efficient routines for information exchange, coordination and collaboration between the partners was one of the main activities during the first months after the start of the project. This initial process was completed rather quickly because the consortium could draw on well-functioning working relationships from the MoRRI project and other (European) projects that were conducted jointly. An additional supportive factor in this regard was that all partners are highly experienced in participating in European research projects supported by the Framework Programmes, thereby facilitating the process of quickly integrating also those partners in the consortium that were not involved in the MoRRI project.
2. Foundational and strategic work: The key objectives that the SUPER MoRRI project is addressing are extremely challenging both scientifically as well as with regard to the potential implications of the project’s results. Scientifically, because the measurement of scientific, economic, societal and political impacts of policies and measures aimed at increasing responsible practices in European research and innovation activities requires the thorough revision of existing and the development of novel conceptual approaches to monitoring and indicators. To this end, existing indicators and previous experiences with data collection were critically examined and put on the test bed, and important conceptual foundations for the development of the RRI monitoring framework were developed. As any indicator system is performative and likely to generate unintended effects, the SUPER MoRRI consortium is particularly committed to responsible conduct in the process of developing the monitoring framework. To provide orientation, SUPER MoRRI developed two key guiding principles for the project and beyond – the principles of responsible quantification and credible contextualisation. The foundational work also included the implementation plan for data collection, the development of the contours and key functionalities of the online dashboard, the specification for the self-assessment tool and the basic research design for the case study programme aiming to improve our understanding of the processes and pathways through which responsibility in research and innovation can be institutionalised and eventually measured. The consortium invested much energy and intensive collective thinking in all these critical foundational and strategic activities as they set the trajectories for the project.
3. Network development: A key element of the SUPER MoRRI project design is the exchange with and involvement of different networks of stakeholders and practitioners. These different but interrelated networks (the international satellite partners, the SwafS eco system, the international advisory board, the broader stakeholder community) function as sounding boards, critical friends and, most importantly, will be involved in the processes of co-constructing and testing the monitoring framework and some of the data collection procedures, the online dashboard, and the self-assessment tool. During the first months of SUPER MoRRI, the relationships with these networks were established and the groundwork for sustained interactions was conducted."
The project will have an intensive and extensive impact on the European R&I systems and on ERA. SUPER MoRRI aims at furthering inclusivity, collaboration and transparency in R&I systems by improving the understanding of the evolution and the development of benefits of RRI. SUPER MoRRI builds upon concrete lessons learned from our previous experiences in the MoRRI project to set up a monitoring system for RRI and its five keys. By combining a focus on a thorough review of the existing monitoring system (Sustainable monitoring system), and exploring new angles to understand whether and how RRI leads to measurable scientific, societal, democratic and economic benefits, we will be able to provide stakeholders with user-friendly tools that help them to improve the outcomes of R&I in terms of RRI, and to enable benchmarking with EU Member States and countries in other regions of the world.