Friday 09

The RRI pioneers in South-East Europe

Posted by Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 09 Oct 2015

Petia Gancheva, at the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the RRI Hub coordinator for Bulgaria and Romania, looks back at the stakeholder's consultation workshop on obstacles, opportunities and ideas for RRI.

The RRI Tools workshop in Ruse

The concept of responsible research and innovation was discussed during 2 full-day workshops held in Ruse, Bulgaria and Bucharest, Romania. The participants were specialists and influencers with different professional backgrounds but all connected by the fact that they play a role in the research and innovation process and all of them share the desire to have R&I shape and direct the society progress.

Standing at the beginning of something means you are aware of how and where it is going to end, or put in other words, you know what you are doing. This look through the concept of RRI means that all stakeholders in the R&I process need to be aware of the outcomes of that process and bear the responsibility to direct its development.    

Such and other thoughts marked the beginning of the discussions during the two events only to be further developed into concrete tools by which the stakeholders will be able to actively and consciously participate in the R&I process and thus align it with the values and needs of society. Participants were very enthusiastic in expressing their opinion and were trying to find the path for a mutual dialogue among all the stakeholders. The workshop was seen as an opportunity which will eventually lead to the desired change in the current situation of the research and innovation system.

The RRI Tools workshop in Ruse

Both countries, Romania and Bulgaria, are still at the tail of EU2020 innovation performers according to Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 report, although the level of excellence in science and technology has slightly improved in the recent years. The research field has been very static and the science base is considered not of sufficient quality to support knowledge transfer through technology towards industry. As the participants in the workshops concluded, the reasons behind this were similar for both countries, probably due to their common political and economic past. Hence, many of the suggestions given during the workshops were for radical change in the research and innovation system such as a national analytical system for R&D budget allocation excluding the human factor decision, independent consultative councils attached to the governing bodies and even re-organization of the governing system of the country! So, here we are, the pioneers of RRI paving to road to RRI in South-East Europe. And as the rule says - when a new idea rises – it's not the leader, but its followers who are actually spreading it or simply said – if you share our ideas and want to help us spread them, we would be more than happy to welcome you in our Hub!

The RRI Toolkit developed under this project relies on the Community of Practice in Europe so that it would ensure the use, evolution and enrichment of the Toolkit. You can be part of this Community and contribute to the RRI Toolkit by following us through the suggested links at the right side of the page.

Petya Gancheva

Petya Gancheva works on the RRI Tools project at the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bulgaria, the RRI Tools Hub coordinator for Bulgaria and Romania.

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