Pathways towards a more inclusive Nanotechnology development in Europe – > Findings from NANO2ALL

Friday 14

Pathways towards a more inclusive Nanotechnology development in Europe – > Findings from NANO2ALL

Posted by Dora Fazecas, NANO2ALL project on 14 Jun 2019

In the past months, the NANO2ALL team has elaborated a roadmap document which conveys findings from the different NANO2ALL activities, principally from its participatory national and European dialogues and its case studies on past and current societal engagement practices in nanotechnology R&I. The roadmap addresses primarily EU and national decision-makers in the science and technology field with competence in the domain of nanotechnology research and innovation (R&I). It outlines the challenges and opportunities for the development of nanotechnology in Europe within the framework of Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI). The roadmap highlights the conditions that have to be in place for enhanced inclusiveness (societal engagement) across the nanotechnology R&I value chains, and outlines recommended actions to help fulfil these conditions. 

You can download the roadmap from here.

  • There is a deeply-felt need for inclusiveness (societal engagement) and integration of societal perspectives in the nanotechnology R&I ecosystem 
  • Societal engagement approaches implemented over the past 15 – 20 years in Europe have not reached a full array of societal actors from different European contexts and often did not establish continuous interactions or trust-building between societal actors
  • There is a need to extrapolate lessons learned from these initiatives to inform the future inclusive processes in nano- and other emerging technologies 
  • The proven role of independent intermediaries (for instance science centres, professional moderators, science communicators) in the facilitation of interactions on responsible nanotechnology development should be reinforced.
  • The inclusion of societal representatives and their views should be enabled at certain stages of decision-making. 
  • Some expert feedback suggests that interactions should be established for tackling diverse topics and these are not always “nano-specific”. 
  • Several conditions have to be in place simultaneously (presented below), in order to truly enhance societal engagement across nanotechnology R&I value chains. 


Trajectory 01: Evaluate past societal engagement activities in research and innovation in nanotechnology.
  • Commission an evaluation study of SE in nano in the past years
  • Use knowledge from such an evaluation to elaborate a plan for the promotion of SE in nano and in other emerging technologies
Trajectory 02: Adapt existing frameworks (or create new ones where not existing) to increase the involvement of all actors, incl. citizens and their representatives in R&I decision-making at all stages.
  • Mandate and finance selected EU level and national platforms 
  • Adapt current public consultations for setting R&I priorities using challenge-led forms of SE
  • Adapt existing EU, national and regional research and innovation funding programmes to foster societal engagement in actual nanotechnology R&I processes 
  • Set up advisory services to support the implementation of societal engagement in nanotechnology R&I 



Trajectory 01: Promote capacity-building and reflections on nano- and other new and emerging technologies via the formal education system.
  • Implement funding programmes for open nano collaborative projects bringing schools in contact with universities and other stakeholders 
  • Promote the uptake of nano- and other emerging technology related teaching materials 
  • Provide a fast track framework for interaction between teachers and researchers through existing platforms

Trajectory 02: Promote scientific culture and critical thinking on nano- and other new and emerging technologies among citizens via lifelong learning and science communication.

  • Fund (incl. through a dedicated strand for science and society matters in Horizon Europe) informal lifelong learning programmes & interdisciplinary funding schemes supporting citizen-science projects embedded into a unique standardised procedure 
  • Develop a clear set of criteria (performance indicators and guidelines) on the quality of science communication activities 


Trajectory 01: Foster RRI awareness and competence within the nanotechnology R&I community and incentivise the adoption of RRI by relevant institutions at regional, national and EU levels.
  • Develop a long-term plan for the promotion of awareness-raising and capacity building to members of the R&I community with regard to RRI principles and practices (training programmes coupled with structural changes to the education system aligning academic programmes with RRI goals). Innovation ecosystems (EIT, EIC, etc) should act as multipliers to foster engagement and provide evidence of the benefits of RRI.
  • Induce structural and institutional changes within research organisations, including the adaptation of the evaluation frameworks of these entities and researchers to RRI goals.
  • Develop and continuously update EU and national level measures in order to incentivise the implementation of RRI. Build on existing frameworks eg. CSR) and set up reward schemes, RRI check-list, encourage bottom-up and organic RRI practices.

Thursday 21

Virtual Dialogue Days | Democratizing Innovation - Fostering collaboration among the public sector, industry, academia & civil society

Posted by Frederik Langkjær & Matilde Trevisani, RiConfigure project on 21 May 2020


Quadruple Helix (QH) innovation, the collaboration of actors from public sector, industry, academia and civil society, is a
concept to address complex problems and to innovate for the benefits of all involved. By emphasizing collaboration
across sectors and the active involvement of civil society, QH links to models such as Open Innovation 2.0 and Mode3. The EU project RiConfigure has engaged with a number of QH cases across Europe and Colombia and established first-hand knowledge how these work in practice. The current COVID-19 crisis creates new challenges for society while, at the same time, 'old' problems, such as the climate crisis, are not disappearing. Most of the ways addressing wicked problems are currently top-down and expert based. We thus aim to foster collaborative- and more democratic modes of innovation.

About the dialogue days

The RiConfigure 'dialogue days' are an open online process that brings together policy makers, practitioners and researchers working on and with QH innovation. Knowledge and experience of participants from innovation policy and praxis are linked with findings from an empirical analysis of European and Colombian cases of Quadruple Helix collaborations. The analyzed cases are innovation projects located in fields such as energy production, climate change adaption, connected mobility and smart labor. Together we will discuss what it needs for these type of innovation projects to thrive - particularly in these challenging times. Special emphasis will be given to learnings from COVID-19 challenges to innovation collaborations, both as impacts on and potential of innovation in corona times.


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Thursday 19

RRI Tools & LIV_IN have joined forces to improve and expand contents of the RRI Toolkit

Posted by Eva Zuazua Schücker - RRI Tools on 19 Mar 2020

The LIVING INNOVATION project brings together 14 partners from all over Europe, including major industry leaders, civil society and research organizations to co-develop more responsible, inclusive and sustainable approaches to innovation in the ICT sector. The project is building capacity and instruments to support the integration of responsible innovation in industrial contexts. The ultimate goal is to shift attitudes towards responsible innovation from risk to opportunity, across sectors and target groups.

LIV_IN is organizing co-creation workshops with lead users and citizens, who are jointly working on solutions that meet user needs and leverage collective creativity to tackle societal challenges, in the areas of smart homes and smart health, and that may uncover new business opportunities. The project has also created a virtual community platform meant to serve as an interactive space for discussion, knowledge exchange and collaboration, open to experts and practitioners in digitization and responsibility.

RRI Tools and LIV_IN have joined forces to enrich and improve contents of the RRI Toolkit focusing on industry needs, and to give higher visibility to LIV_IN and its activities among the R&I community.


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Wednesday 26

Including RRI in the development and implementation of Horizon Europe

Posted by E.-M. Forsberg, A. Gerber and S. G. Carson on 26 Feb 2020

** This post was last updated in March 9th **

The Coronavirus disease occured in a serious number of cases in Italy. The Italian government has ordered the closing of schools and universities as well as the cancellation of all cultural events and conferences until 3 April 2020. The Fit4RRI project decided to postpone its Final Summit, until 29-30 April 2020 (if possible), either in presence or virtually. The RRI Forethinkers workshop has therefore also been postponed and the promoters will decide their nexts steps in the coming days


Now is a crucial time for joining forces to strengthen the visibility of RRI in Horizon Europe!

We therefore invite key RRI proponents, from key European RRI projects, and a range of ERA member states, to meet for a workshop (Rome, 20-21 March 2020) where the aim is to agree on, and coordinate, actions intended to help advance RRI in Horizon Europe. The workshop is organised with support from the Research Council of Norway and in collaboration with the European New HoRRIzon project, and with the kind support of the Fit4RRI organisers and the Sapienza Università di Roma which has offered to host the workshop at their premises, in connection with the Fit4RRI Summit. You can download the invitation to the workshop and the draft agenda from here (*)

Hereby we are sharing a position paper we intend to send to relevant shadow committee representatives for Horizon Europe, as well as other stakeholders that might be important for supporting the RRI agenda in Horizon Europe. Feel free to reuse parts of the document (or the whole!) for your own lobbying purposes.


Including RRI in the development and implementation of Horizon Europe 

E.-M. Forsberg, A. Gerber and S. G. Carson (February 2020)


Why RRI in Horizon Europe?
The European Union has an ambition to be a global leader in sustainable and value-driven research and innovation. The European Union, including the upcoming framework programme Horizon Europe, builds upon the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and has committed to the European Green Deal, where ‘the full range of instruments available under the Horizon Europe programme will support the research and innovation efforts needed’. It is stated that ‘Conventional approaches will not be sufficient. Emphasising experimentation, and working across sectors and disciplines, the EU’s research and innovation agenda will take the systemic approach needed to achieve the aims of the Green Deal. The Horizon Europe programme will also involve local communities in working towards a more sustainable future, in initiatives that seek to combine societal pull and technology push’. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an approach that can support this agenda. 

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Monday 02

Update on SwafS & RRI in Horizon Europe, the upcoming EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation )

Posted by Ulrich Schoisswohl from FFG, Austria - NewHoRRIzon project on 02 Dec 2019

Post by Ulrich Schoisswohl from FFG - originally published at the NewHoRRIzon´s project news section

A big thank you to everyone who came forward and supported SwafS and RRI in the public consultations on Horizon Europe launched by the European Commission!

We are relieved that our requests for a stronger consideration of SwafS and RRI have made it into the report on the web-based consultations. Considering the fact that there was no mentioning of SwafS and RRI before the public consultations this is indeed a big win!


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Thursday 17

Challenges for the further development & implementation of responsible innovation - some highlights:

Posted by Dr. Rene von Schomberg on 17 Oct 2019

On the occasion of the launch of the International Handbook on Responsible Innovation, a series of international events are taking place to discuss the challenges ahead of us for the further development and implementation of responsible innovation.

Three debates have taken place until now in Leiden, London and Brussels. The next one will be the 27th November in Manchester.

In this post you will find the agenda’s for the events in Leiden and London and the highlights of these discussions



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