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RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION APPROACH FOR TRANSITIONING THE TRADITIONAL INDUSTRY REGIONS INTO DIGITALISED INDUSTRY TERRITORIES.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DigiTeRRI (RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION APPROACH FOR TRANSITIONING THE TRADITIONAL INDUSTRY REGIONS INTO DIGITALISED INDUSTRY TERRITORIES.)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-03-31

DigiTeRRI works out a framework and develops a roadmap for a transition of traditional industry regions into digitalised industrial self-sustaining R&I ecosystems by applying Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The project focuses on three territories in Europe, Värmland in Sweden, Région Grand Est in France, and Styria in Austria. DigiTeRRI works with the complexity of the challenges in the interplay between science, industry, government, and society (quadruple helix) in the defined territories. Unifying all affected stakeholders by considering the quadruple helix creates a strong driving force in a transformation process.
The starting point for all transformative processes is to build a common vision, a shared picture of the joint future of the territory, which is able to release the immense innovative potentials of all those concerned. Considering the quadruple helix for stakeholder involvement ensures that different viewpoints and considerations are brought into the discussion, namely from industry & business, university & research, government & public administration, as well as civil society, and that new interfaces are created. These bridges were taken up in the DigiTeRRI territories, and more intense RRI round tables were organised. This ensured communication in smaller groups, establishing a shared sense of co-creation while strengthening trust across these interfaces. Furthermore, through exchange within the DigiTeRRI project the territories profited from their differences in geography, size, type of industry, relationship with stakeholders, and in how they deal with the topic of RRI and the initiatives in place.
(a) The mapping at the beginning of the project provides a solid empirical analysis of scientific research, science-industry collaboration, and technological development, as well as a broad range of digitalisation support measures (“digital practices”) in Grand Est, Styria, and Värmland. Main drivers of digitalisation activities are both industry and university. Industrial clusters and international networks are abundant, but a major challenge seems to be the interface between national and regional institutions: While the European Union has successfully introduced flexibility at the regional level with its Smart Specialisation approach, the institutional setup is often governed by the national level, which may lead to inefficiencies regarding the advancement of RRI aspects during the digital transformation of the territories.
(b) Across the territories, a total of 36 digital practices were identified and analysed in the areas of education, innovation and technology development, provision of infrastructure, territorial development as well as work and employment.
(c) A framework for RRI implementation in the R&I ecosystems of the three territories was described. The framework creates a shared understanding among territories and partners in the project about roadmapping methodology, regional transition processes, and the relationship between RRI and digitalization.
(d) Building on the status of the three territorial R&I ecosystems, a vision statement was created for each territory integrating RRI aspects. This built the basis for the next steps in the roadmapping process and first actions and goals for digitalisation in the territories.
(e) A project website was developed (http://www.DigiTeRRI.eu) including a specific site for each territory in the local language. Social media channels have been developed for Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
(f) Interactions between DigiTeRRI and other SwafS-14 funded projects (RRI2SCALE, TeRRItoria and SeeRRI) took place during the first period, resulting in a joint campaign for maximising and multiplying communication efforts.
(g) The first conference contributions were prepared (e.g. STS 2021 Graz Austria). The publications, however, will be dealt with in the next period.
The main concepts we address in this project are: (i) digitalised industry territories, (ii) RRI approach, (iii) responsible R&I ecosystem, and (iv) transitioning process. DigiTeRRI can be considered as a toolkit itself. It epitomizes a strategic methodology, namely roadmapping. Roadmapping was selected because first actions should already be implemented during the project duration, and roadmapping allows this. This roadmapping process takes place for the innovation ecosystems in each of the three project territories. Since innovation ecosystems are complex systems, DigiTeRRI has to deal with a high level of complexity. The roadmapping process starts with stocktaking and mapping to describe the current situation and the starting point for the next steps, thus creating a common understanding among the involved stakeholders. The visioning process as the second phase unifies the stakeholders and leads to mutual orientation. The third phase is the roadmap development in a co-creation process in the territories followed by the final phase, the implementation of the first actions developed in the process. All phases are embedded in a common framework, which introduces RRI into the digitalisation of traditional industry territories. The framework highlights RRI-related challenges and opportunities arising from digitalisation.
Direct impact refers to the transitioning from traditional industry to self-sustaining and resilient digitalised industrial ecosystems by the application of RRI principles such as openness, co-creation, democratic accountability, and responsiveness. The development of the roadmap in the three project territories impacts their own short-term strategies as a result of the use of co-creation workshops involving quadruple-helix stakeholders: government, academic, business, and citizens. Medium-term impact will be perceived from the DigiTeRRI roadmaps of the three territories. The implementation actions will open up and transform the R&I ecosystems. In the longer term, we expect that the competitiveness of European industry will benefit as these sustainable ecosystems become widespread through a set of best practices and implementation guidelines, as well as through a conference on change and improvement of territories that will target any European territory.
Vision statement Vaermland
Vision statement Grand Est
Vision statement Styria
DigiTeRRI Cover Page