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HEIRRI Report Summary

Project ID: 666004
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HEIRRI (HEIRRI (Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation))

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The EU H2020 funded project HEIRRI – Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation – aims to promote the integration of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) within the education of future scientists, engineers and other professionals involved in the research and innovation (R&I) process. HEIRRI stresses the importance and potential of RRI as a transformative, critical and radical concept based also on the six RRI key aspects identified by the European Commission (EC) – public engagement, gender, open access, science education, ethics and governance. RRI is an approach that anticipates and assesses potential implications and societal expectations with regard to R&I, with the aim to foster the design of inclusive and sustainable R&I.

HEIRRI has done an inventory of RRI teaching, including a State of the Art Review and a Database. This work has helped design the HEIRRI training programmes, which by the end of the project's 1st Reporting Period were in draft form. The programmes will guide the elaboration of the teaching materials. These programmes and materials will be tested during the piloting phase that will take place in the 2nd Reporting Period. Results from these pilots will help refine the materials at the end of the project and then they will be open to HEIs in Europe and beyond. Transversal actions of HEIRRI have been the Forum Online, communication activities, internationalisation actions and an internal evaluation. As described later, HEIRRI has organised its 1st Conference, gathering stakeholders from all over the world to discuss about the integration of RRI in universities.

HEIRRI has a strong consortium formed by four European HEI (UNIVERSIDAD POMPEU FABRA (UPF) (ES) – Coordinating Legal Entity; UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN (UiB) (NO); AARHUS UNIVERSITET (AU) (DK); SVEUCILISTE U SPLITU (UNIVERSITY OF SPLIT), (UNIST) (HR), INSTITUT FUER HOEHERE STUDIEN - INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES (IHS) (AT), a European network of science centres and museums – the ASSOCIATION EUROPEENNE DES EXPOSITIONS SCIENTIFIQUES TECHNIQUES ET INDUSTRIELLES (AEESTI/Ecsite) (BE), “la Caixa” Foundation (FUNDACION BANCARIA CAIXA D ESTALVIS I PENSIONS DE BARCELONA LA CAIXA) (FBLC) (ES), a network of universities (the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ASSOCIACIO CATALANA D'UNIVERSITATS PUBLIQUES) (ACUP) that chairs GUNi, the Global University Network for Innovation) and a SME specialised in innovation – INNOVATEC (ES).

The main objectives of HEIRRI have as follows:
1) to create an inventory of cases and practices of RRI in HEI and share it on Open Access (OA).
2) to start and spread a forum on RRI and RRI learning with online and offline activities.
3) to design RRI training programs and materials and then test them in pilot experiences.
4) to disseminate, internationalise and refine the HEIRRI programs, materials and other outcomes to: (a) encourage teaching and learning RRI; (b) spread the visibility of HEIRRI objectives and results; (c) carry out strategic actions with international networks of HEI and SC-SM; (d) improve materials and the whole project.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

All deliverables of the 1st Reporting Period were submitted as required and all milestones were successfully achieved.

Work towards objective 1. This objective is specific of WP2: “Stock taking/inventorying”, led by AU. Work was structured in three different but complementary deliverables: D2.1 'Inventory Guide of Work'; D2.2 'State of the Art Review'; and D2.3 'Database report'. AU developed a Database of 23 exemplary cases considered “to best illustrate the conclusions of the review” and to be relevant for WP3 and WP4. The Database is OA.

Work towards objective 2. This objective is pursued with the work in WP1 “Multi-stakeholder Forum”, led by AEESTI/Ecsite. Actions implemented include: Forum online, coordinated by UPF, promoting reflection about RRI online (monthly summaries of the Forum Online have been written); the 1st HEIRRI conference (18/03/2016) - This event constituted a very important Milestone, was the first of two HEIRRI international events and it gathered more than 150 stakeholders (researchers, CSO, business, educators and policy makers) from over 20 countries. It was celebrated in the Science Museum of Barcelona, CosmoCaixa. The 2nd HEIRRI Conference will take place in April 2018 and it will help spread the project’s results.

Work towards objective 3. This objective corresponds to WP3, WP4 and WP5. The following actions have been developed: D3.1: “Training Program Design Guide of Work” led by IHS, considers WP2, describes stakeholder and internationalisation workshops. This work has led to the training programmes, which by the end of the 1st Reporting Period were in draft form. D4.1: “Training Materials Protocol” with the specific guide of work and processes for interaction with WP leaders, Advisory Boards and Forum.

Work towards objective 4. This objective is transversal of the project. The WPs involved are WP6 “Internationalization”, WP7 “Communication and Dissemination”, and WP8 “Formative evaluation”. The main actions performed have as follows: the Communication and dissemination plan led by ACUP; identification of specific target groups and communication tools; project’s identity; blog and social media, newsletter and mailing, press review and Public Relations and Press Office; HEIRRI Blog (, with 38 posts published; presentations at 15 international conferences, sessions and workshops in 9 countries, including 7 EU countries, South Africa and Thailand. This has greatly helped to improve the visibility of the project at European and international levels.

The “Formative evaluation”, led by INNOVATEC, assesses the development of the project and the materials produced. INNOVATEC follows the progress of HEIRRI and provides with an insightful evaluation that is taken into account by the beneficiaries.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"Although RRI has the potential to make R&I investments more efficient while focusing on global societal challenges, as some experts have stated the way to incorporate RRI into the everyday practice of researchers and innovators is often unknown. That is why a project like HEIRRI can be so transformative: it has the potential to promote awareness and change attitudes towards the role of universities and the way of understanding responsible science. At the occasion of the Competitiveness Council on 4-5 December 2014, RRI was characterised as ""a process for better aligning research and innovation with the values, needs and expectations of society. It implies close cooperation between all stakeholders in various strands"".

The HEIRRI project is anticipated to have high dissemination and exploitation impact. So far, no results have been exploited. However, the 'State of the Art' Review – as a scientific publication – and the HEIRRI Database – as a resource collection and database – are significant outcomes that could be exploitable. During the 2nd Reporting Period, HEIRRI has been offered the service ""Common Exploitation Booster"" by the EC's H2020 Common Support Centre. This will assist further to the design of a robust dissemination and exploitation plan for HEIRRI."

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