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Co-Create Change in Research Funding and Performing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Co-Change (Co-Create Change in Research Funding and Performing)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-02-01 do 2021-04-30

What is the problem/issue being addressed?

Many researchers care about the ethical, legal, and social aspects of conducting their research, for that reason the so-called ‘responsible research approach’ is gaining ground in many scientific communities. Yet at the organisational level, the principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI) are much less integrated. It is high time to develop and strengthen the capacity for ethical reflection and responsible conduct into the structure and culture of research performing and funding organisations.

Why is it important for society?

Innovations are changing our lives extremely quickly. If we take the example of the smartphone, which was presented to the public only in 2007, it is clear that during the last decade it has transformed the way we communicate, retrieve and share private and professional information, socialise, take pictures, use public transportation, stay in touch with friends abroad and many other acts of daily life. The smartphone can be understood as a bundle of innovations, the use of which has impacted our lives in many positive ways as mentioned above. However, these innovations also have negative consequences, for example, new psychological phenomena such as smartphone addiction. They have also enabled the rise of the platform economy, with powerful platforms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, with associated dangers to privacy, since the business models of these firms are built on the private data extracted from their users through their services. Scientific researchers and research communities are expected by society to be responsive to these societal concerns and issues. Societal actors and citizens will gain greater trust in science if research performing and funding organisations and the entire research and innovation system readily address the societal challenges that citizens and their communities are struggling with.

What are the overall objectives?

- To initiate and implement institutional changes in the areas of the 5 European Commission RRI keys: Citizen Engagement, Gender Equality, Open Access, Research Ethics and Science Education
- To build change coalitions: by implementing the Co-Change Labs in their ecosystems, generate transformative capacity for change in terms of practices, procedures, rules and norms at the individual, organisational and system levels
- To co-create and test RRI-related practices for institutional change in research funding and performing organisations within consortium member organisations and associated partner organisations
- To make the impact of innovation on society a part of consortium member organisations’ daily routines
- To align both the project process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society to produce ethically acceptable, sustainable and socially desirable research and innovation outcomes and to assist the development of a socially, economically, ecologically and technologically more sustainable society
We established Co-Change Labs in research performing and funding organisations and also at universities to boost the transformative capacity and leadership for responsible research. The project activates change coalitions around each lab, paying particular attention to interactions and dependencies of actors in each research and innovation ecosystem since research performing and research funding organisations co-evolve in and with the ecosystems they are embedded in.
The Co-Change Labs jointly created future visions to which they may contribute with their institutional innovations. These visions are described with four thematic groups linked to the topics of the Co-Change Labs: Biogenetics and Agriculture, Autonomous Systems and Vehicles, Digital Humanism, and Artificial Intelligence. Based on these visions, each lab developed its own roadmaps. Starting from the current challenges in 2020, they defined the milestones for the years 2023 – 2030 – 2035 with concrete objectives.
We published our International Call for Innovative Responsible Research Practices, inviting more European organisations to join Co-Change activities and learn together on ways of organisational change towards RRI.
We will generate a transformative capacity for change in terms of practices, procedures, rules and norms at the individual, organisational and system levels. The outcomes of all change labs will be analysed to produce a toolbox and field book for responsible research related changes which will be broadly disseminated.
We will include innovation ecosystem actors into the Co-Change Labs (such as universities, research and technology organisations, firms, funding, politics and civil society organisations) and supporting them to implement RRI.
We specifically pay attention to the anticipation of impacts and emphasise the wide societal, political, economic and scientific impacts (compare with the UN Sustainable Development Goals) of the chosen measures, practices and structures.
We will contribute to the existence of formal governance structures for the application of RRI within research funding and performing organisations.
We will ensure the multidimensional impact of institutional changes through our bottom-up engagement strategy in the Co-Change Labs and through building RRI-coalitions in our own and our associated partners’ organisations.