Eurada News nº397 - February 2020

Early Milestones Achieved in the TeRRItoria Project

The completion of several mapping and evaluation schemes under the analytical strand of the TeRRItoria project has contributed with momentum in the implementation of the transformative experiments in 5 selected territories. 

The transformative experiments covered under the TeRRItoria project in 4 regions (Central Macedonia in Greece; Emilia Romagna in Italy; Trøndelag in Norway; North East-Romania) and 1 municipality (Gabrovo in Bulgaria) will be carried out through a policy dialogue. In order to facilitate their implementation the project has divided its work in three strands: the analytical strand which gathers all the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) related initiatives within the 5 territories of the experiments and the mapping of other experiences valuable for the application in the territories; the reflective strand whose purpose is to make the strategies more citizen centric planning by co-creation of RRI; and the proactive strands which involves the practical implementation of the transformative experiments and improving the governance in the five territories.

The analytical strand has been moving forward thanks to the completion of several mapping tools, approaches and evaluation schemes. The mapping process focused on the collection and structuring of qualitative data. Quantitative examples, however, could be included as supportive evidence in the description of particular features of territorial contexts as part of the mapping process.

An example of a completed mapping tool is the Map of approaches, policies and tools for Territorial RRI which can be used for designing and implementing the five transformative experiments. The Map is based on the analysis of two inventories about bottom-up governance innovation practices and RRI governance innovation practices. Another is the Map of Territorial Milieux whose process revolved around the identification of key societal milieu stakeholders and RRI-oriented or compatible practices and initiatives. It also identified supporting policies in order to prepare the territories for the co-design and actual implementation of the territorial experiments. The Map of the State of the Art of R&I Ecosystem in Five Territorial Areas contains the results of the mapping process of the Research & Innovation ecosystems in the five territories where the transformative experiments will take place. Finally, the Evaluation Scheme for the Five Transformative Experiments is another milestone achieved in the project. The evaluation of activities is designed to assess the implementation of the experiments and their impacts produced throughout the project and use this knowledge to ensure a long-term sustainability of the experimental activities commenced. These outputs are a prove of the hard work the TeRRItoria consortium puts in order to achieve the best possible results for the project.

The partners of the TeRRItoria project agree that RRI plays a relevant role to develop consensus and reinforce social acceptance towards a more science-based modus operandi encompassing the 6 RRI dimensions (public engagement, open access to research findings, gender, ethics, science education and governance). The purpose of the project is to implement operational RRI using the framework of the Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) via transformative experiments in the 5 mentioned territories. Specifically, the project aims to generate long-lasting changes in the governance system of the territories with the inclusion of RRI principles. In addition, the project will be focused on the dissemination of the results that could be replicated outside of the 5 territories.

The RRI concept was launched by the European Commission in 2011 and later adopted horizontally by the research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The purpose of this concept is to provide inclusive and sustainable research and innovation.

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Written by Ivana Rae Almora, Project Officer at EURADA.