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ACCOMPLISSH Report Summary

Project ID: 693477
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACCOMPLISSH (Accelerate co-creation by setting up a multi-actor platform for impact from Social Sciences and Humanities)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2017-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The ACCOMPLISSH project (Accelerate co-creation by setting up a multi-actor platform for impact from Social Sciences and Humanities) creates a platform for dialogue where not only universities are involved. The ACCOMPLISSH dialogue platform is organised in such a way that academia, industry, governments and societal partners equally contribute in identifying barriers and enablers of co-creation. The results from both practice and the theory of co-creation form the basis of the valorisation concept.

Valorisation of knowledge in this respect means:
“The process of value-creation arising out of knowledge, by making this knowledge suitable and available for economic or societal utilisation and to translate this into high-potential products, services, processes or industrial activity.”

The valorisation concept will be tested in the project in a quadruple helix setting. This concept will be tested and developed in such a way that it is transferable, scalable and customized for academia, industry, governments and societal partners in the whole of Europe. Traditional valorisation approaches focus on linear processes: from academia to society. In order to bring valorisation to a higher level, all relevant actors need to cooperate in an equal setting: co-creation. Co-creation transcends boundaries, but it does not happen naturally. Therefore, the ACCOMPLISSH consortium, consisting of 14 universities from 12 countries, will actively involve the other partners from the so called Quadruple Helix (industry, governments and societal partners) within the project. The ACCOMPLISSH project identifies all barriers and enablers of co-creation in order to develop an innovative valorisation concept, which will foster knowledge exchange within the quadruple helix and strengthens the position of SSH research with a benefit for the European society as a whole.

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

Work carried out to reach the project's objectives during the first 18 months of the project:

1. A dialogue platform has been established, consisting of academia, government, industry and societal organisation. The platforms have met in May 2016, November 2016 and May 2017.

2. Barriers and enablers of co-creation have been defined by analysis of the theory of co- creation. The analysis report is available on the project website.

3. Analysis of the practice of co-creation has further enhanced our knowledge of this process. Within the consortium, each academic partner brought forward stakeholders from the quadruple helix sectors to work with in the co-creation process. In the reporting period the project has served as a ‘living lab’ with regards to the practice side of the co-creation process, allowing the identification and testing of barriers and enablers to co-create in different settings. First reports have been delivered during the reporting period and have been published on the webpage of the project.

4. An innovative approach in research design and research communication has been delivered in the Working Paper in order to strengthen the impact and role of SSH research throughout the value chain. SSH research has been strengthened by delivering an innovative approach for both research design and research communication. We need to make the move from Science for Science’s sake towards Science for Science and Society. Valorisation must be integrated into the academic process from the start, articulating research questions and throughout the entire research process. This is where research design needs to advance to the next level; we need to focus our academic endeavours on societal challenges rather than limiting ourselves to the scientific sphere. In doing so will encourage earlier and more in-depth integration of SSH research into the innovation value chain. Impact generation from SSH research will be examined not only from an academic perspective; but we also see an important role for research support officers in promoting impact and co-creation. Research support officers can bridge the gap between Science and Society from the university perspective. They have the ability to widen the research design process at the start and have the skills to make research outcomes more accessible to a wide variety of target groups.

5. To advance the practical application of SSH research findings, methods and expertise into products and services have been started to develop in the reporting period. We already made a head start with practical training schemes and tested them in regional activities. Toolkits are being developed providing practical guidelines for implementing the valorisation concept.

6. Work has started in reaching the overall objective of the project: delivering an innovative valorisation concept. Based on delivered theoretical analysis and on the first reports and ongoing analysis of co-creation in practice, the valorisation concept will be further developed in year three of the project. The platform will enable sharing and combine existing knowledge in order to arrive at a sound valorisation concept. The concept will be tested and implemented through means of training, piloting and toolkit development. A first start will be made during the Dialogue Platform Wide meeting in November 2017. Preparation meetings for that activity has already started during this reporting period.

7. Members of the consortium on several occasions have seized the opportunity to actively promote the CSA and contribute to the wider plea for SSH research as a cross-cutting theme throughout Horizon 2020 and for the developments of the Framework Programme 9.

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)

Societal challenges are complex and cannot be solved with individual actors. The grand challenges Europe are facing need innovative solutions. One of these pathways towards a better future for the citizens of the European Union lies in finding innovative collaboration approaches. The importance of co-creation is being acknowledged by a growing group of stakeholders and there is a growing willingness to test and implement it. With the purpose of contributing to finding solutions or new insights beyond the individual interests of the stakeholders involved.

For the development of universities this project highly contributes to rethinking and redefining the role universities can play in society. Whereas a lot of knowledge has already been developed, there is no automatic flow between science and society. This project contributes to the raising awareness of universities in how they act in society and how they organise themselves to increase societal impact. We see a trend moving away from universities being elitist and isolated institutions with little connection to society, towards a more outward-in looking approach. Still, a lot needs to be done, since historically universities are bureaucratic organisations and many still operate in a very traditional and hierarchical way. However, with the increasing challenges in society itself -both in scale and complexity- traditional institutions have begun to review their roles, universities are part of that movement. This project is contributing to changes towards opening institutions within the quadruple helix to open up, and in particular for universities also outside the consortium new trends, methods, approaches and instruments developed in our project are being picked up.

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