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Excellence in science and innovation for Europe by adopting the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NewHoRRIzon (Excellence in science and innovation for Europe by adopting the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-10-31

Sharing responsibility: what is NewHoRRIzon about?
Research and innovation (R&I) have contributed to many beneficial advances in how we live and how we support our societies. At the same time, scientific and technological developments also have undesirable or unsustainable impacts or cause heated public controversies. One can see evidence of the benefits and burdens of R&I everywhere, from transportation, agriculture and buildings, to medicine, water and energy systems. We need to find ways to better leverage R&I to address societal challenges (digitalisation, globalisation, climate change, etc.) without creating problems for current and future generations.
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
One way forward is to share responsibility and create a more democratic, inclusive and open culture for R&I so that science and technology opportunities can be better realised with and for society. RRI activities try to provide new ways for groups of people to think about and respond to these new opportunities. In practice, this means drawing on more diverse ways of understanding and addressing problems, sharing knowledge, and empowering people to learn and work together. The aspiration of RRI is to contribute to excellent science and innovation for socially desirable, economically vibrant, and sustainable societies.
What has RRI achieved so far?
RRI looks back on a long and rich history of different academic traditions coming together in a joint movement to push for the aspiration of RRI. One major achievement in the development of RRI was the inclusion of the six keys' approach to RRI (Public Engagement, Gender Equality, Science Education, Open Access, Ethics, Governance) in Horizon 2020. Furthermore, national R&I funders in the Netherlands, the UK and Norway, among others, are pioneering efforts to sustain inclusive, open, reflective and responsive R&I communities.
What is the ambition of NewHoRRIzon?
NewHoRRIzon seeks to promote a strong integration of RRI into Horizon 2020 (77 billion euros) and national research and innovation funding. Its objectives are to:
• call together different stakeholders in R&I in 19 Social Labs for each part of Horizon 2020 to co-create social experiments that foster the uptake of RRI;
• develop narratives and storylines on how to implement RRI; provide recommendations on how to better integrate RRI in- to the next European Framework Programme and beyond;
• raise awareness, mainstream best practices and share NewHoRRIzon results;
• develop and disseminate a concept of Societal Readiness Levels (SRL) of technology; and
• create a sustainable RRI Network and RRI Ambassador Programme.
19 Social Labs
To achieve its objectives NewHoRRIzon started with a Visioning Conference in October 2017 engaging more than 40 stakeholders in a vision about RRI in H2020 and beyond.
Following this event, the project organised 19 Social Labs all around Europe — one for each programme line of Horizon 2020. Social Labs build on a tradition of participatory action re-search to bring together people with common interests in solving complex problems related to technology and society. Inviting people with a range of expertise from all across society, our labs will be creative, engaging spaces for collaborative experimentation.
What and when?
The work in the Social Labs builds on impulses from the Visioning Conference and a diagnosis of the current state of RRI in all parts of Horizon 2020. Every Social Lab hosts 3 workshops and a series of smaller additional activities and meeting formats. Participants have the opportunity to co-create, prototype and test pilot actions and activities to support RRI. The three workshops held in each Social Lab are planned for spring and winter 2018 and winter 2019. In addition, selected participants of each Social Lab are invited to cross-sectional exchange workshops.
In October 2017 NewHoRRIzon organized the “Visioning Conference RRI in H2020 and beyond” which involved more than 40 stakeholders to “Generate a vision of a future R&I Support Framework that encourages, cultivates and drives responsible practices on all levels of the European R&I landscape”. The conference gave additional direction to NewHoRRIzon and disseminated the idea of RRI. The NewHoRRIzon Social Labs (SLs) started with a thorough Diagnosis of the state of RRI in H2020 programme lines. The Diagnosis is based on desk research and more than 150 interviews with H2020 stakeholders. Since early spring 2018, 19 SLs involving 265 participants and NewHoRRIzon Consortium members have been set up. In a first series of SL workshops in 2018 altogether 58 ideas for pilot actions to support RRI were generated. From November 2018 to November 2019 NewHoRRIzon organized a second series of SL workshops in which the pilot action ideas generated in the first round were evaluated and further developed. Again, the Social Lab workshops brought together a considerable number of stakeholders (265 participants). At the end of the second series of SL workshops a total of 59 tailor-made pilot actions which aim at improving the implementation of RRI in H2020 and beyond are under development. Other milestones achieved during the second reporting period include the finalization and release of the online version of the Societal Readiness Thinking Tool, the first self-evaluation carried at the first cross-sectional workshop in October, 2018, manifold dissemination activities, including the annual policy brief. Furthermore, the generation of narratives of implementation of RRI started sucessfully.
The SLs are currently working on a total of 59 Pilot Actions (PA) to address RRI challenges. They address challenges in public engagement, inter- and trans-disciplinary research, governance of RRI, raising awareness for RRI and general capacity building, gender, and Open Access across H2020. SL participants together with Consortium members will continue to develop, assess, adapt and disseminate PAs. NewHoRRIzon provided an overview of RRI as practiced within the EU Framework Programmes and, together with its non-European partners, put it in global perspective. To strengthen the notion of a global perspective, NewHoRRIzon participated in a RRI workshop in New Delhi, India. The ongoing involvement of partners from regions outside EU will provide opportunities for dialogue on RRI in a global perspective. In order to support the global development of RRI, workshops in India, Columbia and the West Indies are scheduled for 2020. NewHoRIzon finalzed and released the Societal Readiness Thinking Tool. It adopts a stage-gating inspired design that allows participants in research projects to reflect on the societal appropriateness of their work at critical stages in the project life-cycle. In order to integrate RRI in national R&I funding programmes NewHoRRIzon started the RRI network. Already in the first reporting period, NewHoRRIzon generated many dissemination activities including a policy brief, four workshop sessions, presentations at conferences, academic and non-academic publications, leaflets, a website, etc. to promote the idea of RRI beyond the project. In the second reporting period dissemination efforts continued.
Graphical presentation of the 19 Social Labs
Project Consortium at Kick Off Meeting, Vienna, May 2017